Monday, April 8, 2013

Jackson Pollock and Frederich Schelling

Jackson Pollock is an essential figure in modern art, because he is the catalyst for the real question of who an artist is, and also changed the canvas-both literally and figuratively- for the display of art. Pollack's creations were made in an interactive format. Pollock would get in a sort of trance connecting soley with his art. Although many artists are said to experience a trance when in the creative process, by implementing his entire body and movements into the art, Pollock took it to the next extreme. 

Pollock was active in the 1930's through 1950's, but around a hundred years before his time, the German Idealist philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling was theorizing about this trance that Pollock took to such extremes. Schelling's philosophy centered around the view that artistic creation was the highest goal of human life. He further theorized that this trance that Pollock participated in was in some ways the communication between the finite and the absolute realities of the world. Schelling still existed in the world prior to extreme modern art, but it would have been very likely that seeing the creative process that Pollock went through, he would have admired Pollock greatly. 

Now whether or not Pollock would have agreed with Schelling is a greater question. Although as an artist he almost indefinitely would have been inspired by the view that what he was doing was part of the greatest activity of humanity, he may not have agreed with Schelling's assertion that he was in some capacity a communicative device used to connect the infinite and finite realities (the infinite often interpreted as a God figure) Pollock was quoted saying “The modern artist is working with space and time, and expressing his feelings rather than illustrating.” Schelling would thus agree with the connection between space and time, but he would most likely connect the trance and process that Pollock used with an illustration, even if it is subconscious with a sort of illustration of the absolute. 

The only other philosopher who put so much emphasis on the creation of art was Dostoevsky, whose views on the subject are contrasted with Schelling's in the book Dostoevsky's Aesthetics and Schelling's Philosophy of Art

-Schelling's view on the artistic process, in greater detail:

-Pollock Quotes on the Subject:

-Dostoevsky's Aesthetics and Schelling's Philosophy of Art

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