Saturday, September 17, 2016

Jackson Pollock: Landscape with Steer 1936-37

This painting was done by Jackson Pollock in the 1930's. The images presented in the painting are meant to represent a part of the American western scene, to which Pollock was raised. The name of the painting is very interesting, as a landscape means all visible features of land. The painting does show visible features of land, more specifically the western countryside. I am not exactly sure as to what, "steer" means in this context though. The general definition of, "steer" is to give direction. So, "Landscape with Steer" can mean, "the features of a land with a given direction". This is represented by what looks like two opposing forces (one orange, one black) coming at each other from opposite directions in the painting. 

Another thing that is also interesting and quite noticeable about the painting is that there are four specific colors used-- black, orange, yellow, and blue. The red represents one opposing force, the yellow is an open field, and the blue must be the sky or is symbolic of a storm in the sky. The black represents rocks and the other opposing force. I debated a bit on whether the "orange" force was actually red, orange, or a reddish orange. I decided to stick with orange.

The two opposing forces look like skeletons of animals, but it is a bit difficult to tell. The one on the left hand side looks like the skeleton and shape of a bull. Beneath the orange force, there are more skeleton-like shaped objects on the rocks. It's amazing that some of this was also done with an airbrushing technique! This was also very different from his other paintings that had more wild and abstract strokes with few distinct shapes. This painting has a lot more distinction with objects and more solid strokes with a purpose (or as the title suggests, with direction).

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