The interlacing method offers a beautiful dance of forms, as complex and layered as one could want, unified through the unbroken flow of line. Clearly, this is an important source for Pollock. But also important are all the pictorial possibilities, which were there from the start but then dropped in abstraction. In “The Milliner’s Workshop” Picasso has faces and figures peeking out of the net—or maybe they were there to begin with and the interlacing was applied. That would be the weaker version. All the trapped images, lights, shadows, reflections should be dancing within the web and produced by it; they should come from somewhere else, not from our realist memories.

Jackson Pollock, Out of the Web 1949

Abstraction has tended toward geometrical construction and has generally not followed this curving, biomorphic, bodily direction. Brice Marden, Stella, Lynda Benglis—there are a few; certainly there are more names to list, just can’t think of them now. And it may be necessary to draw a few distinctions. Not all painterliness counts.

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3 Responses to Entangled

  1. Sam Cornish says:

    Hi Robert, My initial impulse is to say that Brice Marden is a very restricted geometric artist. Though its all loops, these seem to loop within the rectangle, hemmed in by it. Pollock is much more open. Sam

    • Now that you put it that way I think you’re right, and that’s an interesting way to go at Marden. Actually, I wasn’t happy with any of the names mentioned, but drew a blank on alternatives. Suggestions are welcome. What do you think about the interlacing technique and about overlapping forms?

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