Sunday, 25 September 2011

Jackson Pollock: Blue Poles - Number 11 (1952)

When Jackson Pollock's painting, 'Blue Poles', was acquired by the National Gallery of Australia in 1973, it was the most famous painting in the gallery. It created a furore when it was acquired for what was then a world record for a 20th century artist of US$2 million in 1973. The Whitlam government suddenly had everyone in Australia talking about modern art - politicians, housewives, taxi drivers - everyone became an art expert overnight and the excessive price was a big part of the problem. Recently, the work was revalued at approximately $500 million so maybe Gough got it right on a whole number of fronts. 

Americans were upset when it came to this country and recently when it toured the US, they lined up for 4 blocks in the NY winter just to see this work - its a vitally important piece of art history and Americans recognise its importance in a way that most Aussies don't. Its Jackson Pollock's last great abstracted work of 1952 and there was a suggestion that it had been created while the artist was drunk (due to broken beer bottle glass embedded in the paint) which was absolutely untrue. Blue Poles is the late, great work of the artist who is generally considered the most important American artist of the 20th century, and if you're in the nation's capital, call in to the National Gallery and see one of the great art pieces in the world.
Burn brightly, Pete

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