Jackson Pollock

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Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956) was an influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. During his lifetime, Pollock enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety. He was regarded as a mostly reclusive artist. He had a volatile personality, sometimes struggling with alcoholism. In 1945, he married the artist Lee Krasner, who became an important influence on his career and on his legacy.[4]

Pollock died at the age of 44 in an alcohol-related car accident. In December 1956, he was given a memorial retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, and a larger more comprehensive exhibition there in 1967. More recently, in 1998 and 1999, his work was honored with large-scale retrospective exhibitions at MoMA and at The Tate in London.[5]

In 2000, Pollock was the subject of an Academy Award–winning film Pollock directed by and starring Ed Harris.

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Early life

Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming in 1912,[6] the youngest of five sons. His parents, Stella May McClure and LeRoy Pollock, grew up in Tingley, Iowa. His father had been born McCoy but took the surname of his neighbors, who adopted him after his own parents had died within a year of one another. Stella and LeRoy Pollock were Presbyterian; the former, Irish; the latter, Scotch-Irish.[7] LeRoy Pollock was a farmer and later a land surveyor for the government.[6] Jackson grew up in Arizona and Chico, California. Expelled from one high school in 1928, he enrolled at Los Angeles' Manual Arts High School, from which he was also expelled. During his early life, he experienced Native American culture while on surveying trips with his father.[6][8] In 1930, following his brother Charles Pollock, he moved to New York City where they both studied under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League of New York. Benton's rural American subject matter shaped Pollock's work only fleetingly, but his rhythmic use of paint and his fierce independence were more lasting influences.[6] From 1935 to 1943, Pollock worked for the WPA Federal Art Project.[9]

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