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paul bloodgood 
"jack's name 
painting" 
at 303 gallery 

by Jeanne Siegel 


The title refers to a 40-page collage poem 

(in progress) that offers another way of 

looking at Jackson Pollock. It challenges 

misunderstandings of his personality, 

pathology and interpretations of his work. 

Bloodgood draws on earlier writers and 

poets, Melville, for example, for words and 

ideas to piece together. At the same time, 

the title refers to Pollock's late black 

enamel paintings as a source of 

exploration. Bloodgood bends the now-

persuasive tradition of combining art and 

language. Whereas both Julian Schnabel and 

Suzanne McClelland continue to incorporate 

text into their paintings, Bloodgood has 

separated the elements into two 

experiences, giving the collaged poems more 

scope and meaning. "I am contrasting the 

poetic and the painterly but only in order 

to collapse them both into another form--

the essay," says Bloodgood.


The new paintings are rougher, tougher, 

cooler than his previous ones. He wants to 

capture the American rawness (there's some 

of Kline's force here too), even echoing 

something of Pollock's early Gothicness. 

But there are many differences. Bloodgood 

finds his own vocabulary of markmaking--

it's linear and it's not continuous, often 

split or fragmented. Marks are kept away 

from the edges, not allowing for the sense 

of a unified whole found in Pollock's 

paintings. Spaces are wide open and 

undulating. Lastly, the direct reference to 

figuration in Pollock's black enamels is 

absent. The painting, A Walk and a Foreign 

Portrait, drawn from Pollock, becomes a 

kind of Bloodgoodian pictorial collage. 


The artist defiantly professes his love of 

the past. His last show took off from 

Manet. In the `80s, appropriation of style 

was replaced by appropriation of content. 

Bloodgood retrieves style, which privileges 

the mentorial influence. The justification 

of influence lies not only in who the 

artist chooses as his mentor but what he 

does with it, and Bloodgood does a lot.


303 Gallery

Apr. 27 - May 18, 1996