I passed the Pollock-Krasner House on a few occasions when I was in East Hampton and finally got a chance to visit on this last trip.
It's a modest wooden shingle style home, indicative of the Hamptons. Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) and Lee Krasner (1908-1984) were able to move out of their city apartment to the country with the help of Peggy Guggenheim, who lent them the money for a down payment.
|ph: Pollock-Krasner Study Center|
|ph: Hans Namuth|
Each artist had different approaches and styles, but were considered Abstract Impressionist painters in their own right. When they were not painting they enjoyed cooking, gardening, and entertaining.
Jackson and Lee celebrating with Stella Pollock. They understood "the power of the dinner party" and perfected their culinary skills ~ which later came in handy!
|ph: from the Jeffery Potter Archives|
Portrait of Lenore Krassner (her given name), 1932 by Igor Pantuhoff, Lee's lover before she met Jackson.
Lee painted in an upstairs studio while Jackson took over the barn. She later moved into the barn after Pollock's death and her artwork took on a more liberated tone. She was mostly overshadowed by Pollock during his lifetime, but she came into her own in the 1960's and beyond.
The view from the back of the house with the studio on the left the property.
Pollock had hoped to turn this pile of rocks in the back of the house overlooking Accabonac Creek into something more one day; a sculpture of some kind?
The old barn was converted into a studio, and that's where the drip technique that Pollock is so closely identified with was perfected.
Jackson had many demons. His struggle with alcoholism was widely known, as was his volatile behavior. It may have been because he was bipolar. His Jungian therapist encouraged him to paint as a way to cope.
- "My painting does not come from the easel. I prefer to tack the unstretched canvas to the hard wall or the floor. I need the resistance of a hard surface. On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting."
|ph: Rudy Burckhardt|
Jackson used his whole body to thrust the paint onto the canvas, thus preferring the floor or a wall to an easel. Ghosts of paintings past can be seen in the wooden floor of the studio. Like a work of art in itself, outlines of some noteworthy paintings have been identified within the boarders of an invisible canvas.
While the two were intrinsically tied, they were not together when Pollock died in a car accident; his mistress survived the crash. Lee lived and worked in the house and studio until her death. The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center was bequeathed to the town.
A collection of recipes, some written in Pollock's hand, was collected by Robyn Lea and made into a cookbook. Published by Asssouline, it is a nice collection of simple recipes with traditional ingredients. Photos of the home and art are juxtaposed with the recipes.
|ph: Robyn Lea|
Here is a recipe from the book ~ Pollocks's award winning Apple Pie became famous in the Springs.