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Jackson Pollack Hardcover – 1 Jan 1998

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.; 01 edition (1 Jan. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810981866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810981867
  • Product Dimensions: 26.7 x 3.2 x 30.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,670,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University, where she has taught since 1982. She is also the author of "Lee Krasner: A Catalogue Reaisonne," "Reading Abstract Expressionism," and "Artists for Victory," as well as many articles on twentieth-century American art. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By J. Mcdonald TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Feb. 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ellen G. Landau`s book is easily still one of the best biographical surveys on Pollock currently available.

First published in 1989, this is a pretty comprehensive monograph; it has 270 illustrations, 105 of which are in colour with 6 gatefolds. The book is in landscape format which helps accommodate many of the images which share that presentation; the reproduction quality is pretty good and most of the images are of a fairly decent size, with a few comparative illustrations by other artists included where relevant.
The text is quite authoritative and narrates Pollock's difficult artistic development sympathetically and with a degree of insight, placing his influence in historical context with the culture of his times; my only real gripe is with Landau`s dismissal of the work of Janet Sobel, who`s all-over drip paintings not only preceeded Pollock's but by his own admission made an impression on him – surely by now this can be properly acknowledged?
At least Landau mentions her; perhaps someday Sobel will be credited as an interesting (if minor) artist in her own right and for the small part she played in the development of abstract expressionism.

This is a very recommendable book for anyone seeking to study the artist in any serious depth and also provides a good visual reference.
One other reviewer on this page seems more piqued with buying a book he found boring and I`m sorry that was his experience – at current prices second-hand or as a paperback it is a quite reasonable purchase.
As for the feature film “Pollock” I enjoyed it too; its good entertainment and captures the energy of Pollock's creative process; but it is to it's subject what “Lust for Life” is to Van Gogh - and there are good reasons why the Pollock-Krasner Foundation declined to involve itself with the project; I'll say no more on that.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a really big book. Full of information on Pollock and is works. The best part though is the number of high quality colour plates. Many are double pack fold outs for the larger works. This books offers a comprehensive coverage of the artwork, with the exclusion of 1950-1952 black poured works which the book had a Blindspot for :-) Also if you are looking for rare works this is basically the standard Museum works rather than the juicy ones hidden in Swiss bank vaults for rainy days. One thing i would say that unless you can pick this up cheaper than the Vernedoe Tate/MOMA 1998/9 catalogue which is similar but simply better.
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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 Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x90a6a318) out of 5 stars 28 reviews
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9061ba8c) out of 5 stars strong text, inconsistent reproduction quality 7 Aug. 2003
By christopher wren - Published on Amazon.com
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.
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9061baec) out of 5 stars A gorgeous retrospective of a brilliant body of work 19 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9061bcc0) out of 5 stars If you're only going to buy one book on Pollock, this is it 20 Sept. 2010
By Charles S. Houser - Published on Amazon.com
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).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9061f30c) out of 5 stars Jackson Pollock by Ellen G. Landau 26 May 2013
By VICKIE M SIMMS - Published on Amazon.com
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9061f2b8) out of 5 stars the father of american expressionism 19 Feb. 2013
By michael potts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
the color prints [some fold out] are superb and inspirational I reccommend the book to any serious painter or artist of any sort
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