잭슨 폴록의 1947-1950년 그림 읽기

Reading Jackson Pollock's Painting from 1947 to 1950
서양미술사학회 논문집 제9집, 1997.12, 113-136 (24 pages)
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This study set out to provide an alternative proposal to the single-tracked interpretation of Modernism, by focusing on the fact that Modernist critics repressed in the works of Jackson Pollock from 1947 to 1950, which have been the best example of Modernist criticism.
To achieve this aim, I try to follow the method used recently by art historians to reinterpret the Modernist art through the perspective of poststructuralism. I approach the art work as a kind of ‘structure’ which is the network of various discourses of the specific time and society. This approach will free art work from such trans-historical concepts as formal consistency or originality of the artist. In other words, I try to read its polysemy instead of looking at it as a monostyle. Other interpretations with this perspective were divided into those focusing on the formal aspect, which questioned the fixed framework of ‘abstract art’, and those focusing on the social aspect, which protested the sanctuary of high culture. However, I attempt to read these two aspects in one framework.
In formal aspect, it can be said that his painting presents a ‘discourse of abstraction’ regarding whether objects exist or not, for, in spite of priority of abstractness, figurative forms are ubiquitous in his works. Moreover, the literal presence of the surface which is emphasized through materiality of dripped painting or cut-out paper develops another aspect of the ‘discourse of abstraction’ regarding creation and appropriation. The literality is not only an aspect of abstractness in that it means work's self-referentiality, but also that of figurativeness in that it is the highest state of representation, being the object itself. Therefore it is the moment for transcending the dichotomy of the abstract and the figurative. Regarding the social phase, the photographs in Vogue magazine in which fashion models showed off in front of Pollock’s latest works, and an article of Life magazine which introduced Pollock to the public are the text that tell the social use of his work as ‘kitsch’. Here, art works were treated as decorations, and the artist as a star. However, these texts can also be interpreted as having played an important role in strengthening the identity of Pollock’s work as high art, by extending that identity into public space.
As mentioned above, the style of Pollock’s work is not picturing the abstraction itself, but presenting the discourse of abstraction and figuration. Likewise, the photographs in Vogue magazine is not picturing kitsch, but presenting the discourse of high culture and kitsch. By the way, the formal and the social can be read in one frame, that is, the formal aspect of Pollock’s work can be read in social context. For, the social aspect is not merely a background or result of an art work, but is inseparably reflected in its form of existence.
The priority of abstraction in his work can be seen as an attempt to establish art as a typical model for high culture which symbolizes and preserves bourgeois hegemony. However, the humorous and infantile figures of cut-out, which resemble those of Miro or Picasso, suggest the temptation of popular culture which threatens the identity of high culture. Also, the literality of duco enamel and actual objects that are attached to the surface is in proximity to kitsch idiom such as ‘material presence’ or ‘appropriation’, rather than that of high culture such as ‘formal quality’ or ‘creation’. On the other hand, it is also the idiom of high culture such as self-referentiality. In other words, there are various discourses in his works regarding the social identity of art, such as the consciousness of an identity as a high culture, the temptation of a popular culture, and the alternative measure to overcome it. Because the things illustrated in the photographs in Vogue magazine appear in Pollock’s work, these two can be read as the same story.
As we have seen, if we treat Pollock’s work as text structure, terms such as the abstract and the figurative, creation and appropriation, the high and the low are portrayed as being related or complementary, rather than mutually exclusive. The Modernist interpretation of Pollock’s work which emphasizes dichotomy and limits his work to one side, is a kind of cultural ideology for protecting the sanctuary of the avant-garde rather than an objective fact. Because Modernism is itself a product of capitalist society, and its existence depends on that system, the Modernist dream of taking refuge in the territory of high art as transcendental pure form cannot escape from the danger of being used as kitsch, another product of capitalism. Their nightmare is in the reality from which it was bom.

Ⅰ. 머리말
Ⅱ. 형식 읽기: 추상미술 담론
Ⅲ. 사회적 국면 읽기 : 고급문화 담론
Ⅳ. 사회적 컨텍스트에서 형식 읽어보기
Ⅴ. 맺는 말
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