PRINT September 1965

Jackson Pollock

The following article is a section from the extensive introductory essay to the exhibition “Three American Painters,” organized by Mr. Fried at the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, and shown there from April 21 to May 30, 1965. A version of the exhibition (which consists of works by Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski and Frank Stella) appeared at the Pasadena Art Museum from July 6 through August 3, 1965.

THE ALMOST COMPLETE FAILURE of contemporary art criticism to come to grips with Pollock’s accomplishment is striking. This failure has been due to several factors. First and least important, the tendency of art writers such as Harold Rosenberg and Thomas Hess to regard Pollock as a kind of natural existentialist has served to obscure the simple truth that Pollock was, on the contrary, a painter whose work is always inhabited by a subtle, questing formal intelligence of the highest order,

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