The Influence of Jackson Pollock on Abstract Canvas Art

Abstract canvas art is the technique of expressing abstract form and colours. One of the best known abstract canvas artists is Jackson Pollock, whose work from the mid 1940s to early 1950s comprised of ‘action painting’ whereby he employed household paint, sticks, hardened brushes and even syringes to create his pieces. He revolutionized not only the methods used in the modern canvas art world – laying the canvas on the floor and pouring or flicking paint onto it – but also our view of what art means.

To many critics art should represent the world around us in an objective fashion – taking a beautiful vista or subject and recreating it on canvas. However, as Pollock said “it doesn't make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said. Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement”. The debate focuses on our desire for order in a chaotic world or the reflection of that chaos on canvas. Clearly there are two well defined sides to the argument. Pollock’s view was that by laying the canvas on the floor he could be ‘in’ the painting – moving around it energetically until he saw what he wanted to see. The subjective view of such modern wall art is that it is fiction – creating something out of nothing as opposed to reflecting the world around us.

The distinction between those in the abstract canvas art world and those in the objective art world will doubtless continue. Jackson Pollock’s work continued to cause controversy up until his untimely death in a car crash in 1956, and he will be forever held in high regard by abstract wall art aficionados. Indeed, in 2006 his piece entitled “No.5, 1948” became the world’s most expensive painting, selling for $140,000,000 at auction. Leading figures such as Pollock have, and will continue to challenge our perception of the abstract canvas art world in a way that is hugely important for our consciousness as a whole.