Born: 28 January 1912; Cody, Wyoming, United States
Died: 11 August 1956; Springs, New York, United States
Active Years: 1934 - 1953
Art Movement: Abstract Expressionism
Genre: abstract painting
Deemed the “greatest painter alive” during his lifetime, Jackson Pollock was an American painter who was a major artist abstract expressionist art in the 20th century. Pollock was expelled from two high schools during his formative years, the second one being Los Angeles Manual Arts School, where he was encouraged to pursue his interest in art. In 1930, he moved to New York to study art, and secured a job under the WPA Federal Art Project, a New Deal project, which allowed him to earn a living from his painting.
As he was gaining professional and social success, Pollock fought the addiction of alcoholism and recurring bouts of depression. Two of his brothers suggested Jungian psychotherapy, with Dr. Joseph Henderson, who encouraged Pollock in his artistic endeavors as part of his therapy. Although the psychotherapy did not cure his drinking, it did expose him to Jungian concepts, which he expressed in his paintings at the time. In 1945, Pollock moved with his wife and American painter Lee Krasner to Springs, New York, where he would remain the rest of his life. In the barn behind the house, which he converted to his studio, Pollock developed a new and completely novel technique of painting using what he called his “drip” technique. Using hardened brushes, sticks, and turkey basters, and household enamel paints, Pollock squirted, splashed, and dripped his paint onto canvas rolled out over his studio floor. In 1956, Time magazine gave Pollock the name “Jack the Dripper,” referencing his unique style of action painting.