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“White Light” by Jackson Pollock Essay

This assignment is a three page essay critique over a two dimensional work of art. As you have learned in the first chapter, a critique often involves both a formal evaluation of the work (based on its physical appearance) and a contextual critique considering the artist’s style, intention, and historical time period. You will consider several questions which will help you generate an essay about the painting “White Light” by Jackson Pollock. You should carefully read the chapter on two dimension art in your textbook first. Your response to the assignment must be prepared according to standard college writing practices, using MLA format.

Fragmented sentences and spelling errors are not acceptable, so please be sure to spell check your essay. Please make sure you write a minimum of three pages. Your response should not be a list of answers, but rather a reflective response to each question written in an essay. Devote at least a paragraph to each question. 1. Using the terms in the textbook about color, explain what color choices you see in this painting. For example, are the colors primary, tertiary, etc.

Are they complimentary and intense of soft and close in value?

2. Does line or shape/form seem to be the most dominate element? Explain your choice.

3. Select two principles of design you think strengthen this work visually.

4. If it were possible to count the number of layers of paint, how many would you estimate there to be? Explain how you determined this, and explain how texture is created in this work (you might refer to the video link for consideration if this question).

5. Consider what elements stimulate our senses in this work. Is it contrast, is there a focus? Does the work feel dynamic? You choose, but please explain your choice.

6. Critics have described Pollock’s style as “rendering energy visible”. Describe the mood or feeling of the energy this composition expresses.

7. Although Pollock is considered an Abstract Expressionist, he is also labeled an Action Painter or a Gestural Abstractionist. Why do you think these labels seem to “fit” this composition?

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