Convergence by Jackson Pollock

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

Convergence is the most famous Abstract Expressionist painting from the 20th century

Convergence features circles, swirls, lines and spots splattered right across the canvas.

Dark tones, oranges, reds, yellows and whites all fight for attention as Pollock's drips converge together in a rebellious, chaotic painting.

Jackson Pollock was directly challenging convention, both artistic and political, fighting for freedom of speech at a time when many in the US felt this fundamental right was under threat.

Many vocal supporters of this political message were also supportive of his work and encouraged others to promote their cause by funding or sponsoring future Pollock masterpieces.

A rebellious artist was still willing to make use of institutions when they could benefit him and his career.

This particular drip painting is huge and striking, grabbing your attention as soon as you enter the room and gaze at it.

The chaos of this style was controversial at the time of Pollock's career, but drip painting is now an accepted art style.

Many viewers of this painting would find their own meaning in it, where as the artist himself was deliberately creating more questions than answers.

He would often title his work with neutral names to avoid biasing one's opinions and feelings towards one of his paintings.

Pollock produced his drip works by throwing paint onto raw canvases, laid flat in his studio in Hampton. Sticks helped him to control lines of paint rather than relying on his brushes.

This particular painting stands at 93.5 inches by 155 inches, which is a fairly standard size for this artist - he would even sometimes go larger for other drip paintings.

The abstract nature of these types of paintings meant that he was even able to essentially crop them as one would a photograph, without losing focus from the work or losing its balance.

Without a primed canvas, Pollock regularly used black drops of paint to essentially serve as the background, with brighter colours continually providing the real interest to his work.

Specifically in Convergence, it is the red, yellow, white, and blue paint that together produce thedramatic moments of focus to lead the eye. Primary colours are continually used for this purpose in many other Pollock paintings too.

Whilst the colours and lines appear random, Pollock is carefully controlled to avoid any one foreground colour being overused and becoming too dominant. The primary colours will also always be held in check by the background black and beige tones.

The contrast between foreground and background, plus primary colours against each other provides us with excitement and is where the expressive nature of this art form comes from.

The innovation of Pollock is underlined by the fact that this work, produced over 60 years ago, continues to hold an element of modernity even today. Whilst others will copy or take ideas from the abstract expressionists, it was artists like this who really were the imaginative, bold individuals who laid the ground work for all those who followed on afterwards.

Convergence was created by Jackson Pollock in 1952 and now hangs on display at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

The complexity of Convergence as artwork means although it is impossible to buy a print that this the same size of the huge original, it still works brilliantly at almost any smaller size as the original colours and complexity still make it an attractive painting.

Convergence prints and paintings from the original work by Jackson Pollock are amongst the most popular of all abstract expressionist art, with fine art print reproductions common right across the world for modern art fans.

Convergence features the style that made Jackson Pollock paintings so popular and also served as his trademark as an artist, with combinations of wild pouring, splashing and dripping of paint combining to create an elaborate final work.

There were many artists like Jackson Pollock who looked to challenge accepted painting principles to try to do away with traditional ideas that he found boring and uninspiring.

Art to him was about expression of emotion rather than direct reproduction of what the eye can see.

Many art movements have sought to bring emotion into art all the way back to the Romanticists and beyond, though it is the Abstract Expressionists who clearly took such a wide berth from traditional painting techniques and teachings.

Soon after Convergence and Pollock's other key paintings the artist began to find the pressure upon him too much, with galleries wanting new works all the time.

The artist also began to become frustrated with the public who constantly tried to find figures and shapes within his paintings that were neither there, nor intended to be there.

For this reason Pollock chose in the future to just number his paintings rather than name them in order to avoid guiding anyone into thinking beyond what they could simply see with their immediate eyes.

Besides Convergence, Pollock's paintings that most frequently become art print reproductions in people's homes are Blue Poles, Autumn Rhythm, Lavender Mist, Yellow Islands and Number 5 / No 5.