Thursday, November 9, 2017
Chicago art 1 -- early work
Many artists become famous for some easily recognizable technique, subject or approach -- and when you see their early work, quite different, it's a surprise. I found several examples in my recent Chicago museum extravaganza.
First, at the Art Institute, Jackson Pollock, before he started flinging paint in spatters. Here he is one year earlier, with an almost-landscape, almost-still-life. He was working on the floor rather than vertically, but a long way from his signature style.
Also at the Art Institute, Robert Ryman, who went on to explore every conceivable permutation of all-white painting. Here he was working predominantly in white, but underneath the white, definite colors visible as a background.
Jeff Koons, New Hoover Deluxe Shampoo Polishers, New Shelton Wet/Dry 10-gallon Displaced Tripledecker, 1981-87
And another early Koons, in which he suspended three basketballs in a tank of water with exactly enough sodium chloride added so that the balls float at the same level: