Abstract Expressionist work by Jackson Pollock

In this Case Assignment, we will be comparing an Abstract Expressionist work by Jackson Pollock, One: Number 31, with a work that represents the Pop Art style by Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans. Take a look at the images by clicking on the links below before you continue. Just as the name indicates, often the focus of a Pop Art work is a casual (as opposed to elitist) subject. In our example, Warhol’s object can be found in any grocery store. Abstract Expressionism gained major recognition after WWII. Just as the name indicates, it does not depict any specific subject or human figure. Some scholars attribute that rejection of specificity to the horrors of the war. Although our two works could not be more different, they both represent the reality of post WWII America.

Pollock can be viewed as championing “the role of the artist,” as his art seems a pure abstraction of his body movements and his handling of the paintbrush, whereas Warhol seems to not have any real connection to the making of his art, as he upholds everyday, mass-produced objects in 1960s America as subject matter for high art. Write a 3- to 4-page paper in which you provide information about Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, with a brief reference to the place of art and artist in society; abbreviated biographical background on the artists; brief description and interpretation of the two works; and your personal opinion on how Warhol and Pollock differently represent post WWII America, shaped by global capitalism, diversity, consumer culture, and mass media, in their respective works.

Image of Pollock, One: Number 31 (Abstract Expressionist Work): https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/jackson-pollock-one-number-31-1950-1950/ Image of Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans (Pop Art Work): http://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/andy-warhol-campbells-soup-cans-1962F

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