Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Happy Birthday, Jackson

One of the worst things to happen to art, unless you like the pictures. The pictures made between, let's say, 1948 and 1952, of course, because no one in his right mind could like any of the others.
One view is that they're wallpaper. But almost everyone agrees agreeable wallpaper; more, brilliant wallpaper. You can't stand (as one used to in the old Tate, for example) in a room with nine Lee Krasners, three Jackson Pollocks, two Barnett Newmans and a Clyfford Still without saying: "That's rubbish, so's that, and that, and that, that's interesting, that's beautiful, that's crap, &c, &c."
The ones you thought were of some interest were the Newmans, the ones you thought beautiful were the Pollocks and the Still. It didn't mean you thought they were art, or great, or important. But they looked nice.
I love the pictures from that period, particularly Blue Poles and Lavender Mist, but I don't know why. He made them like this.