New Yorker: American Abstract

julho 25, 2006 at 9:54 pm (abstraindo, matutando)

Autumn Rhythm - Number 30, por Jackson Pollock (1950)

Dia 11 de agosto próximo estará fazendo 50 anos da morte de Jackson Pollock. A New Yorker de 31 de julho traz um artigo falando da exposição celebrando sua obra no Guggenheim, sua vida e trabalho: American Abstract, por Peter Schjeldahl.

Born in Wyoming, Pollock came to New York, from California, in 1930. He was mentored at the Art Students League by Wood’s American Scene colleague Thomas Hart Benton. He soon found the Expressionist and Surrealist tendencies of the downtown avant-garde more congenial than Benton’s mannered figuration, partly because he was tormented by a belief that he could never draw properly. But a sense of nationalist mandate stayed with him. It’s an undertone in his famous reply to the German painter and pedagogue Hans Hofmann, who had suggested that he try working from nature: “I am nature.” The glowering Westerner who became known as Jack the Dripper seemed to speak not just for the country but as it, in person: the Great American Painter, at a moment that was hot for Great American thises and thats. His helplessly photogenic, clenched features, broadcast by Life in 1949, made him a pinup of seething manhood akin to Marlon Brando. It wasn’t even necessary that Pollock be a great artist, though he was. Unlike Wood, he countered the humiliating authority of European modern art not by rejecting it but by eclipsing it. Abstraction may have still scandalized most Americans, but suddenly it was a homegrown scandal, with nothing sissified about it. The macho pose, an obligatory overcompensation for aestheticism in the nineteen-fifties, ill suited a man whose ruling emotion was fear, which sprung from an anxious childhood in a ragged, nomadic family. But it sold magazines.

Blue Poles, por Jackson Pollock (1950)Acima está Autumn Rhythm – Number 30, pintado por Jackson Pollock em 1950. O original está no Metropolitan em Nova Iorque, seus mais de 5 metros de largura e quase 3 de altura ocupando uma parede inteira, é um quadro impressionante, a gente se perde dentro dele. Ao lado, Blue Poles (1950), residente na National Gallery of Australia, em Canberra.

Palavras de Eli Siegel em seu artigo “Beauty and Jackson Pollock, Too” (1955):

The unconscious, as artistic, goes after unrestraint, but unrestraint as accurate; and when unrestraint is accurate, the effect on mind is still that of beauty. And:—if his work is successful, there is in this work, power and calm, intensity and rightness, unrestraint and accuracy—and these, felt at once, make for beauty.

Para brincar de Pollock, eu recomendo (este flash foi roubado de Michal Migurski, mas a vantagem é que permite trocar as cores de tinta).


Este exemplar da New Yorker vem também com um artigo sobre a Wikipedia, que em março atingiu 1 milhão de artigos (a Encyclopædia Britannica tem apenas 120 mil): Can Wikipedia conquer expertise?, por Stacy Schiff.

[Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s founder] says that he is on a mission to “distribute a free encyclopedia to every single person on the planet in their own language,” and to an astonishing degree he is succeeding. Anyone with Internet access can create a Wikipedia entry or edit an existing one. The site currently exists in more than two hundred languages and has hundreds of thousands of contributors around the world. Wales is at the forefront of a revolution in knowledge gathering: he has marshalled an army of volunteers who believe that, working collaboratively, they can produce an encyclopedia that is as good as any written by experts, and with an unprecedented range.

Wikipedia is an online community devoted not to last night’s party or to next season’s iPod but to a higher good. It is also no more immune to human nature than any other utopian project. Pettiness, idiocy, and vulgarity are regular features of the site. Nothing about high-minded collaboration guarantees accuracy, and open editing invites abuse.

encyclopedie2.jpg(…) As was the Encyclopédie [by Diderot and d’Alembert, 1751-80], Wikipedia is a combination of manifesto and reference work. Peer review, the mainstream media, and government agencies have landed us in a ditch. Not only are we impatient with the authorities but we are in a mood to talk back. Wikipedia offers endless opportunities for self-expression. It is the love child of reading groups and chat rooms, a second home for anyone who has written an Amazon review. This is not the first time that encyclopedia-makers have snatched control from an élite, or cast a harsh light on certitude.

Preciosas instruções para curar soluços, via Wikipedia.


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