“Friedman has captured the excitement of the artist at work–the tortuous groping towards an idea and the sense of fulfillment in its ultimate creation. It is, indeed, a definitive biography. It is documented. It is solid. But best of all, it is lively.”–Chicago Tribune
Nowhere is the complex and destructive painter Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) revealed with more compassion and insight than in this exemplary biography. Friedman, a friend of Pollock’s and active in the art world, shows him to be a brilliant man tormented by his relationship to his family; an artist who worked hard through years of poverty to achieve his controversial painting technique; the first American painter to gain an international reputation for himself and for what has been variously called Action Painting or Abstract Expressionism; and a man who struggled with alcohol and the tension between gentleness and violence.
Newly illustrated with seminal Pollock paintings, this book takes the reader inside the art world of New York during the ’40s and ’50s, when Action Painting first emerged. Friedman reveals what it meant to Pollock to experience the invasion of his studio and of the very act of painting by the external pressures of shows, reviews, films, dealers, critics, hostile publicity; and how, despite it all, Pollock created many of the most graceful and powerful paintings ever made in America.