Paul Jackson Pollock
January 28, 1912
August 11, 1956
Paul Jackson Pollock better known as just “Jackson Pollock” was born January 28, 1912 in Cody Wyoming to parents Stella May McClure and LeRoy Pollock. Pollock was the youngest of five sons and grew up in the Midwest states such as California and Arizona, where his father was a farmer. At the age of 16 Pollock began attending the Manual Arts High School in Los Angels, California, he studied painting for almost a year before being expelled for the “publishing and distribution of two broadsides attacking the faculty and the school’s over-emphasis on sports”. Pollock returned to the high school in 1929 but left again in the fall of 1930 to move to New York and studied at the Art Students League under Thomas Hart Benton.
It would become obvious over the next couple of years that Pollock was suffering from “serious emotional difficulties”. By 1937 he had started “psychiatric treatment for acute alcoholism” which lasted for about eight months. This wouldn’t be the first round or the last round of treatments for Pollock. He was hospitalized upon his own request in 1938 for treatment again of acute alcoholism. Pollock again relapsed in 1939 and was referred to Dr. Henderson a Jungian psychoanalyst for treatment. While in treatment with Dr. Henderson, they focused on Pollock’s drawings because he was convinced that “his psychological difficulties were revealed in imagery”. Dr. Henderson diagnosed Pollock’s illness as schizophrenia, which was indicated with periods of “violent agitation”; then by states of “paralysis or withdrawal”; and by a “pathological form of introversion.” Pollock seemed unable to draw clearly articulated shapes, and only produced jagged, impulsive drawing during “violent agitation” (see attached drawing #2 and #3). Pollock’s “paralysis or withdrawal” drawings (see attached drawing #16) are represented with a “claustrophobic compaction of forms within a...