new-york

Jackson Pollock

Marlborough-Gerson Gallery

The things in the Jackson Pollock show are of mixed but generally poor quality, but they do give a fair idea of what Pollock’s production as a whole was like, miscellaneous though this particular selection may be. The bulk of the show consists of a number of paintings from 1950–51, and these are supplemented by two groups of drawings, one from the early forties and the other from 1950–52. What the show leaves to one side, then, are the three or four years starting about 1947 during which Pollock did his best and his only important work, and this show was certainly a depressing one, in large part because the artist, when he painted these works, was evidently depressed as well as intellectually confused. Such lessons as the show has to teach have to do with the relation between these two conditions.

The major “issue” posed by Pollock’s work at its best, between about 1947 and 1950, is whether

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