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How did Jackson Pollock become a cult figure for the Beat Generation? And what caused his reputation to continue to soar? This compelling and original Abrams classic, now back in print, locates the artist in the continuum of his times, recreating the social and cultural milieu of New York in the 1940s and 1950s. With extensive knowledge of Pollock's habits (much of it gained through interviews), his reading, his conversation, and the exhibitions he visited, the author retraces many of the far-flung sources of Pollock's work. A wealth of comparative photographs that illustrate paintings by artists Pollock admired further explains the work of this complex, tragic, and immeasurably influential figure. Pollock's big, bold canvases are reproduced in five colors to convey the brilliance of his network of tones, his aluminum paint, and his sparkling collage materials. Six gatefolds show his vast horizontal works without distortion and a chronology provides a summary of the major events of Pollock's life.