Rebecca Coleman Rebecca Coleman Green Man icon Green Man icon
Pollock at Tate Liverpool and Agnes Martin at Tate Modern
7 August 2015, 14:28

I have just been to see the Pollock exhibition at Tate Liverpool, showing some rarely seen work of his that he did in the years leading up to his untimely death. To me, Pollock is a strange artist whose colour drip paintings either grab me or they don’t. In this exhibition much of the work was black and white paintings from his ‘dark’ period. I am drawn to the monochrome and found these a lot more fascinating. Again, I do not find this work ‘easy’ to access, but as a distillation of his mental state – very powerful.

It is strange to be able to compare this late Pollock work to those of Agnes Martin – an artist I was not familiar with until I visited Tate Modern in Late June. Again, much of her work is not easily understood in a short visit. Many of her canvasses are very large – virtually white and only when you go up close you realise that the very pale paint holds together intricately drawn grids of graphite. Reading about her, I understand that these large expanses of canvass reflected not only her natural environment but also an attempt to quieten her restless mind.

For me, these have been two very powerful exhibitions. Some of the images and their influences will stay with me for a long time.


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