Brief comparison of Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock, and their contrasting body of work

Essay by cjross04High School, 11th gradeA+, June 2005

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Preliminary half yealy exam, question 3:

Compare and contrast bodies of work by 2 artists you have studied. In your discussion address the significance of intentions to their practice.


Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol were American based artists during the same period; the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Almost every aspect of their art is antonymous and extremely different, from their art practice, to the meaning they constructed in their works, to the audience and world they reflected.

Jackson Pollock wasn an Abstract Expressionist who used the Action Painting style, as opposed to the Colour Field Painting style. He was active in the 1940s and 1950s, joining a wealth of artists moving to the newly established art capital of the world.

Pollock's art practice consisted of lots of physical exertion; gestural movements of the wrist, elbow and shoulder that created a rhythmic sense of pattern. As is evident in his most famous work Blue Poles (1952).

To create a massive work like Blue Poles his method included laying the large canvas on the floor, stretching it out, and pinning it down. He was then able to move around all four sides of the canvas. Using this method he felt importantly more 'apart' of his work, thus facilitating the intentionally expressive and highly personal purpose of the work.

Pollock didn't use a brush, instead he used foreign implements (sticks, syringes, trowels) and added foreign materials (such as nails, broken glass and sand). Pollock preferred to use a stick to best exploit the 'drip' technique or effect he wanted to create. This collection of abstract tools added to his intensely expressive practice.

The artworks he created were unique but so personal that the audience were detached and the meaning of the works were seemingly unrecognisable. The public mostly...