On this birthday of Jackson Pollock (born in Cody, Wyoming on January 28, 1912), I’m reminded of Frank O’Hara’s appreciation for Pollock’s paintings. From the beginning of Pollock’s experimentation in the late 1940s—dripping paint on an unstretched canvas positioned across his floor (perhaps inspired by Indian sandpainting) and scraping the covered surface with odd instruments, sticks, or knives—Frank O’Hara appeared fascinated by the technique, which both Pollock and O’Hara viewed as a process toward freedom from restraint or convention.
action painting, containing dark arcs of paint or lines of spattered
drops lengthening like beaded chains, embraced spontaneity and imitated
coincidence much the way many of O’Hara’s action composition poems
narrating events as they may have happened attempted to speak to their
readers with a seemingly natural, unfiltered voice relating personal
observations or experiences.
-- Ed Byrne. Click here for the rest of Byrne's piece.