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Article: Art Imitates Life

  • By Lynden Barber — © 2002 Nationwide News Proprietary Ltd
  • Source: The Australian, 25 October 2002
  • Only 10% of this article's text is displayed below for reference purposes.
    Please contact the copyright holder/source publication to obtain the full article.

As Jackson Pollock takes to the silver screen, Lynden Barber ponders our obsession with the suffering artiste THERE is no doubting Australia has come a long way since the Blue Poles fracas erupted 30 years ago. The fiery debate over the painting's 1973 purchase by the then Australian National Gallery was framed in epochal terms of philistinism versus artistic integrity. Now Jackson Pollock's abstract canvas is so widely accepted it is virtually part of the Australian psyche.

But who was Pollock and where does Blue Poles fit into his lifetime's work? Where did his revolutionary style spring from? And how does his legend as an abusive drunk fit into the frame? This month two cultural events endeavour to provide some of the answers.

The first is an Oscar-winning biographical movie, Pollock, directed by its star, Hollywood actor Ed Harris, and due to open in limited national release next Thursday. The second is the opening earlier this month at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra ...


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