Critics frequently describe Pollock’s allover painted fields, especially those he began producing after 1947, as absorbing or engulfing the viewer, occasioning a sensation of being immersed within an all-encompassing visual environment. His paintings are said to establish so powerful a continuity between viewer and painting that the distinction between them collapses, generating a feeling of what the psychologist Anton Ehrenzweig notoriously described as “undifferentiated oceanic envelopment.”1 Pollock’s works, he continued, “enveloped the spectator inside the picture plane,” producing a “manic experience of mystic oneness.”2 In them, “pictorial space advances and engulfs [the viewer] in a multi-dimensional unity where inside and outside merge.”3 On this account, Pollock’s art is immediate, commanding an irresistible connection or mysterious identification.
Schreyach, M. (2017). The crisis of Jackson Pollock's Mural as a Painting. Getty Research Journal, 9(Suppl. 1), 183-199. doi:10.1086/695874
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