Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Free-wheeling spontaneity......................

The Connoisseur            Norman Rockwell      1961

"It was against this backdrop that Rockwell created his masterpiece, The Connoisseur.  It takes us inside and art museum, where an older gentleman is shown from the back as he holds his fedora in his and and contemplates a 'drip' painting by Jackson Pollock.  His gray hair, gray suit, and general air of quietude offer a sharp contract with the crackling intensity of the Pollack."

"...Pollack had died in 1956, in a car wreck in East Hampton, New York, and his death at age forty-four seemed to seal his reputation as a renegade.  In a way, Rockwell and Pollock represent opposite sides of the same coin.  Rockwell exemplified the American desire for safety and security as much as Pollack exemplifies the opposing need for flight and rebellion."

     "The Connoisseur required, among other things, that Rockwell paint a fake Pollack as part of his preparatory process.  He had seen the famous photographs in Life of Pollack in his denim jacket, tossing paint from a stick onto a sheet of canvass that had been laid on the floor.  Now Rockwell tried to duplicate Pollack's vaunted 'drip' technique.  As photographs reveal, he places his canvass on the floor and created an imitation Pollack.  He knew he was putting on a show and saw the inherent paradox of it - meticulously re-creating an image of free-wheeling spontaneity."

-Deborah Solomon, American Mirror:  The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell

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