Artist David Alfaro Siqueiros and his Influence on Jackson Pollock’s Work.

Siqueiros was passionately committed to technical innovation. He believed that revolutionary art called for revolutionary techniques and materials and considered the paintbrush “an implement of hair and wood in an age of steel.” Collective Suicide offers a compendium of the radical techniques the artist explored as part of the Siqueiros Experimental Workshop he founded in New York in 1936. He airbrushed paint across the top third of the panel of his painting Collective Suicide and used stencils to depict the vast army of invading seventeenth-century Spanish conquistadors on horseback (lower right) and Chichimec Indians leaping to their deaths to avoid subjugation (left). The swirling vortexes are pools of fast-drying commercial lacquer typically used on cars.

A member of the workshop later recalled that they applied this paint “in thin glazes or built it up into thick gobs. We poured it, dripped it, splattered it, and hurled it at the picture surface.” Siqueiros’s radical experiments proved influential for Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock, in particular, who was a member of the Workshop.

If you’re interested in a movie about David Alfaro Siqueiros I highly recommend  EL Mural on YouTube

In the featured photograph: Siqueiros and Members of his Experimental Workshop in New York City, c. 1935. Photograph © Archivo CENIDIAP-INBA


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