The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Hood Museum of Art explores José Clemente Orozco's impact on Jackson Pollock's early work
Jackson Pollock, Untitled (Circle), about 1938–40, oil on composition board. The Museum of Modern Art, New York: Gift of Lee Krasner in memory of Jackson Pollock. © 2012 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Digital image © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY.

HANOVER, NH.- This spring, the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, joins in a worldwide celebration of the centenary of Jackson Pollock’s birth in 1912. In partnership with the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton, New York, the museum presents Men of Fire: José Clemente Orozco and Jackson Pollock, an exhibition that explores the crucial importance of Orozco’s murals for the American artist. The exhibition also marks the eightieth anniversary of Dartmouth’s famous mural The Epic of American Civilization, which Orozco began painting for Baker Library’s reserve reading room in 1932. Men of Fire will be on view from April 7 through June 17, 2012, with an opening reception on Friday, April 13, at 5:00 PM. The exhibition will then travel to the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center and will be on view there from August 2 until October 27, 2012.

In the summer of 1936, twenty-four-year-old Jackson Pollock made the trip from New York City to Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, to see Orozco’s recently completed mural cycle. The mural was a revelation to him, and, in the years following this trip, Pollock engaged with themes found in Orozco’s masterpiece, including myth, ritual, sacrifice, and the creative and destructive power of fire. Men of Fire assembles the paintings, drawings, and prints that Pollock created following his momentous trip to Dartmouth. Most were made between 1938 and 1941, at a time when Pollock’s engagement with Orozco’s art was at its most pronounced. The exhibition provides a unique opportunity not only to see many of these works together for the first time but also to compare them with the Orozco mural that inspired them, just a short walk across the Dartmouth Green. The mural will be represented in the exhibition by several rarely seen preparatory studies—drawings in pencil, charcoal, and gouache—that will present the work of these two great modern artists side-by-side. “When most people think of Jackson Pollock, they think of his large-scale abstract ‘drip’ paintings of the late 1940s,” said Hood Museum of Art director Michael Taylor. “Men of Fire will, for the first time, focus attention on this lesser-known, transformative period in Pollock’s career, a time when he immersed himself in the work of José Clemente Orozco. It is clear that the experience of seeing Orozco’s mural at Dartmouth had an enormous impact on Pollock’s subsequent work.”

“Men of Fire is the culmination of our year-long Pollock centenary celebrations,” remarked Helen A. Harrison, director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center. “Our only Pollock painting, known as Composition with Red Arc and Horses, strongly reflects Orozco’s influence. The exhibition examines that relationship, which was crucial to Pollock’s development. By pairing Pollock’s art with Orozco’s, Men of Fire enhances the understanding of both artists’ contributions to twentieth-century art of the Americas.”

Pollock’s painting Untitled (Bald Woman with Skeleton), about 1938–41 (see image), is perhaps the best example of Pollock’s fascination with the Dartmouth mural and displays many of the elements of Orozco’s work that most appealed to him. The painting depicts a skeletal figure with an ambiguous, hybrid anatomy lying across a white, stage-like ledge, as a female figure crouches above. The skeletal figure allowed Pollock to reinvent the sacrificial ritual scenes that are abundant in the Dartmouth mural, particularly the skeleton giving birth to dead knowledge in the section known as “Gods of the Modern World.” Other Pollock works from this period, such as the Tate Gallery’s magnificent Naked Man with Knife, about 1938–40, which returns to the United States for the first time to be part of this exhibition, also depict violent scenes of ritual sacrifice likely inspired by Orozco’s Dartmouth mural panels. Orozco’s imagery, divorced from any social or political meaning, arguably enabled Pollock to develop a vocabulary with which to express his experience of psychic trauma in visual terms.

The title of the exhibition and catalogue references Orozco’s famous fresco Man of Fire, painted for the Hospicio Cabañas in Guadalajara from 1937 to 1939. The theme of fire—a powerful instrument of destruction and creation, and a symbol of renewal and rebirth—was frequently used by both Pollock and Orozco. Many of Pollock’s works from this period were derived from an understanding of the symbolic use of flame that he drew, in some part, from his study of Orozco’s murals. Pollock’s The Flame, painted about 1934–38, for example, shows a white skeletal figure engulfed in vibrant orange, yellow, and red licks of fire, recalling in turn the fiery background of “Gods of the Modern World.” Flames and fire, either referenced in some abstracted form through color or brushstroke, or more directly stated in the subject matter of the work, exist in many of the works assembled in this much-anticipated exhibition. Ultimately, both Orozco and Pollock, as Promethean artists, turned a critical eye to the traumas of the modern world to conjure imagery that would endure as a marker of a period of global economic depression and war.

Today's News

April 7, 2012

Bonhams auction in New York City on April 15 offering Titanic-related artifacts

The Hood Museum of Art explores José Clemente Orozco's impact on Jackson Pollock's early work

Van Gogh's Portrait of Peasant to go on public view in NYC for the first time in forty years

Secret of Vermeer's blue uncovered: 'Woman in Blue Reading a Letter' fully restored by the Rijksmuseum

African, Oceanic, and Pre-Columbian art to be offered at Sotheby's in New York on 11 May 2012

Timothy O'Sullivan Photography exhibition opens at Nelson-Atkins Museum

Columbia Museum of Art announces major gift of nearly 600 works from Dorothy and Herbert Vogel

Increased attendance and extraordinary sales reported at the AIPAD Show New York

Sweden's Nationalmuseum acquires a number of silver pieces made by Gustaf Mollenborg

Solo exhibition of new paintings, sculptures and installation by Valerie Hegarty opens at Marlborough Chelsea

Around the world, architects and city planners answer to rising seas: floating homes

Finest Fr. 1179 $20 1905 gold certificate could top $120,000 in Heritage Auctions' event

BMW Guggenheim Lab to open in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood in June

MIT dedicates monumental sculpture by internationally renowned artist Cai Guo-Qiang

New project of Anna Tsouloufi-Lagiou deals with concepts and issues related to contemporary biopolitics

Wreck of Titanic to be protected by UNESCO

John Max Rosenfield named 13th recipient of the Charles Lang Freer Medal

Spectacular Kashmir sapphire ring, the rarest sapphire of all, could bring $250,000+ at Heritage Auctions

Ohio rabbi's books tied to Holocaust survivors

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful