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Jackson Pollock Paperback – 26 Sep 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; New edition edition (26 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500285845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500285848
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 29.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,746,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"On the floor I am more at ease, I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk around in it, work from the four sides and be literally 'in' the painting." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ellen G. Landau is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities, Department of Art History and Art, Case Western Reserve University. Her previous books include Lee Krasner: A Catalogue Raisonne and Reading Abstract Expressionism.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Connor Brailsford on 27 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
Ok its a big book so it should really go into alot of deph about Jackson Pollock, Ive read the 1st 2 chapters of the book at the minute and Jackson Pollock has hardly been mentioned! The 1st chapter goes on about a film star and how that relates to Pollock and the second chapter is about a artist Pollock studied under. Im doing a A-level personal investigation on Pollock so I bought this book after seeing it in the Tate. I understand that the artist Pollock studied under was revelant to the way Jackson painted but a whole chapter on it is uneccersary, the chapter can be somed up by saying Benton was a big influence on the way Pollock painted and the way he thought. That took me a sentence its took the writer 20 pages. If I wanted to know about a movie star or another painter I would of bought their biographys. Hoping to get to atleast some information about Pollocks drip paintings soon! I would say buy a differnt book that just looks at Pollock not every other tom dick an harry that compares to Pollock or affected his life!

Ok read the whole book now, basically its a waste of bloody money! £25 and all it tells you is who hes like who influenced him, it seems every person alive at the time and before influenced him, If I was alive at the time no doubt I would have influenced him to, Very little on his most famous paintings (Drip) it basically tells you how they got their name. I would recomment the DVD "Pollock" its so much better than this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 24 reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
strong text, inconsistent reproduction quality 7 Aug. 2003
By christopher wren - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Before Varnedoe and Karmel's Pollock monograph, which accompanied the MOMA / Tate retrospective a few yeas ago, this was the best available text-and-plates book about Pollock. In terms of its text, this book is still relevant and insightful. Like Elizabeth Frank, Landau does a lot of truly eye-opening comparison work throughout her book. She'll reprint a work by Picasso, say, or a Native American artifact, or a Pollock sketch, and then analyze the influence it exerted on one of Pollock's key canvases.
And unlike the Varnedoe/Karmel book, this volume reprints these several kinds of works in close proximity, often on the same or a facing page, a useful feature. Landau's remarks about Pollock's sources, outcomes, growth and directions are always at least provocative and often really instructive, particularly in her coverage of the late black paintings. Indeed, Landau's analysis is regularly listed and praised in other authors' bibliographies.
The drawbacks of the book are its numerous poor reproductions, and plates after all make the primary reason for buying an artist monograph. Many of the plates are excellent and crisp--"Lucifer," "Pasiphae," "Autumn Rhythm," the colorful, playful works following Pollock's marriage. But too many of the plates and fold-outs are muddy, and Pollock's use of silver or aluminum paint is simply beyond this book's ability--as with the gaudy and over-exposed looking gatefold that opens the book. "Blue Poles" and "Stenographic Figure" are among the book's other poor reprints. Until I saw the Varnedoe/Karmel reprint of "One: Number 31, 1950," and then again in "person" at the MOMA, I just flatly didn't understand how Pollock had approached it. It looks "ok" in Landau, but with a lessened resolution that just slightly confuses the webbing throughout.
Still, I value the book and particularly its text. As for the reproduction quality, I did buy a second copy to cannibalize it; I've posted many laminated pages throughout my classroom. But I got that copy at remaindered prices. At full cost, this is a 3 1/2 or 4 star book. At bargain prices, the book rates 4 or 4 1/2 stars. Varnedoe/Karmel is just visually superior.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
A gorgeous retrospective of a brilliant body of work 19 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This intelligent and lavishly illustrated volume, which first appeared in a 1989 hardcover edition, covers Pollock's entire career, his early influences, and the progression of the themes, techniques, and accomplishments of his life as an artist. Ellen Landau's text is enlightening, but the best part of this book is, inevitably, the illustrations themselves, which are an unparalleled feast for the eyes. For those who want to experience and understand Pollock's art (rather than dwell on his personal problems) this is an excellent choice.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
If you're only going to buy one book on Pollock, this is it 20 Sept. 2010
By Charles S. Houser - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I strongly disagree with another Amazon reviewer who said the quality of the art reproductions in Landau's biography varied. As someone who has bought a lot of art books, I thought the color plates exceptionally vivid and a more than adequate basis for studying Pollock's work in light of Ellen Landau's insightful commentary. Every major work is presented as a full-page (or double page) image. They are simply labeled by the painting's title (and an alternate if a painting acquired one in the art world other than the one Pollock gave it himself) and the date; the usual caption clutter (medium, size, present owner) are provided in an appendix.

The narrative, divided into twelve chapters, is basically chronological. (Chapters are compact and can be read thoughtfully and leisurely in an hour or two.) Landau includes sufficient biographical information to help the reader appreciate the paintings. She doesn't ignore or minimize Pollock's alcoholism and character defects, neither does she dwell on them. The "evidence" and details concerning these matters are mostly confined to her extensive endnotes, along with expanded versions of key critics' comments on Pollock's work. Landau is cognizant of the influence of Thomas Hart Benton and gives it due attention(Readers who want to know more about the psychodynamics of the relationship between these two iconic American artists will want to read Henry Adams's Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock; see my Amazon review of that title). Readers with a lot of time on their hands who want a "womb to tomb" (to quote a favorite Pollock catch phrase) account of the artist's life are directed to Jackson Pollock: An American Saga.

Whatever biography you choose to read, you'll want Landau's book near at hand for the beautiful, detailed reproductions of Pollock's best-known paintings. The book's Selected Bibliography, unfortunately, includes only the works Landau consulted but did not cite in her notes. In other words, the reader will have to scour the notes to find other key works. (The bibliography in Adams's book is more recent, comprehensive, and reader-friendly).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Jackson Pollock by Ellen G. Landau 26 May 2013
By VICKIE M SIMMS - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a art history student and appreciate books with works of art that are well photographed and presented in the text in a fluid way. Jackson Pollock fits the bill. The text is easy to read while using art language. Landau describes Pollock's story with passion and clarity.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Many gorgeous plates, some spanning two pages up to 23 inches in width 25 Aug. 2013
By E. O'Connell - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I never have enough time to read the accompanying text, so my reviews are based solely on the plates, as influenced by quantity, size, quality, and variety. This is a five-star collection encompassing Jackson Pollock's lifetime of art.

Many of the plates are vibrantly colored and the full size of one page (11.8 x 10.4 inches). There are more than a dozen pull-outs that are two full-sized pages (up to 23 inches wide). Accompanying the text are smaller-size plates, including Pollock's black and white sketches, the occasional works of his contemporaries and influences, and photographs of Pollock while painting.

Stand-outs include:
T.P.'s Boat in Menemsha Pond (c. 1934)
The Flame (c. 1934-38)
Untitled (Naked Man With Knife) (c. 1938-41)
Bird (1941)
The Magic Mirror (1941)
Male and Female (1942)
The Moon Woman (1942)
Pasiphae (1943)
Night Mist (1945) (extra large)
War (1947)
Reflection of the Big Dipper (1947)
Alchemy (1947)
Lucifer (1947) (extra large)
The Wooden Horse (1948)
Autumn Rhythm (1950) (extra large)
Blue Poles: Number 11, 1952 (1952) (extra large)
The Deep (1953)
Ocean Greyness (1953)
White Light (1954)
Search (1955)

And the forgoing list is merely a sampling of this large, well-organized collection.
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