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Metropolitan Museum of Art - Research Paper Example

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Jackson Pollock is an American artist. He was famous for his drip paintings and is a major figure in American painting, specifically in abstract expressionism. He was the purveyor of the drip technique, and this was seen as the origins of action painting. This was his way of challenging the Western style of painting using the easel and brush, with an attempt to leave figurative representation. However, he abandoned the drip painting style just as it was getting famous and returned to painting using figurative elements. War is one of Jackson Pollock’s earliest known paintings and is the only painting he ever titled. This painting was made before he became famous with his drip style. It should be noted that Pollock was a successful draftsman and often used his sketches to execute his artistic ideas. War is a very apt descriptive title for this abstract expressionist painting. This painting was made just after World War II and it shows the brute violence of war: there is a funeral pyre, a human figure being thrown to it, a bull, and a crucifixion. The colors of red and yellow were then added for drama. The elements of this painting hark to Picasso’s war-inspired painting Guernica, where it also had suffering people and the bull as a major figure in the painting. Although it has more figurative elements, this painting has many linear motions that have emerged in his later paintings. The date is significant to understanding this painting: 1947 is a time when war was still fresh in most people’s collective memory, and this was probably the way that Pollock expresses his feelings towards war. This painting symbolizes the harsh effects of war in society, and the ghosts in people’s consciousness. The media used for this painting are colored pencils and ink. The size is 20 5/8 inches by 26 inches. The size is not exactly relevant to the viewer, but it is easier to observe because of the size. This seminal work of art has influenced the 21st century because it had paved the way for Jackson Pollock’s Abstract Expressionism genre. It may not be as noticeable here but the traces of Abstract Expressionism are here: the linear movements, the near-abstract figures, the fast composition. This painting may not be as popular as his drip paintings; but this painting shows how he managed to get into that style. Without this painting, abstract expressionism in America would not be as successful. 2. Marilyn Monroe by Richard Avedon (1957) Richard Avedon was one of the most iconic American photographers. His work, Marilyn Monroe, is one of his most popular. Richard Avedon was born and raised in New York City and entered as a photographer for the Merchant Marine. He learned photography there as he took identification pictures of the crew. This picture was taken on May 6, 1957 and it completely embodies the style of portraiture that Richard Avedon helped made famous: his ability to capture the real essence of the subject by letting the viewer see the intimate, candid shots of a certain personality in an often bare setting, with no props but just the details needed to compose the picture. He developed his unmistakable style there: stark, high contrast, black and white pictures. The main feature of an Avedon photograph is that it is honest: everything you ought to see in your reflection is seen in an Avedon photograph. This picture, simply called Marilyn Monroe, is named after the subject herself. As a portrait photographer, Avedon shot many famous people, as well as the working class and the criminals; Marilyn Monroe is one of the most famous, ...Show more
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Summary

It has been said that art is a reflection of society. It is often seen that art can be a barometer of the people’s emotions, feelings and the like. After all, painting is another way of keeping a diary, according to Picasso. …
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