One art work which was believed to be synonymous with the Modern was Jackson Pollock’s Convergence, 1952. In the context of the second part of the course and the discussion of the painterly aspects of liquids, the painting ignores disegno esterno (which is an observed naturalism based on the artist’s individual perceptions) and becomes universal in its application of the elements of design. All humans respond to line, color, value, balance, and symmetry in the same manner regardless of their race, gender, or nationality: blue at bottom left balancing blue at bottom right, white diagonal lines angling off to the left and right, and warm areas of red and yellow energizing areas of the composition.




Abstract art is meant to transcend life as lived and reflect basic human, primal, instinctual, feelings and emotions. Pollock’s exposure to psychotherapy and psychoanalysis (Freudian and Jungian) probably reinforced his motivation to represent the universal within all humankind.

Arshile Gorky’s Making the Calendar, 1947, similarly values a primal abstraction over objective representation. The artist has “gone with the flow” of his disegno interno. In their creative processes, both Pollock and Gorky would walk up to the canvas and “let the spirit take them.” The result was a composition more reflective of their “gut” than any exterior reality. They hoped that viewers would be able to relate to the raw, emotional, and personal images as all humans experience the same psychic conflicts.  The style was named Abstract Expressionism. Through the basic aesthetic vocabulary of line, color, value, shapes, etc., artists “designed” narratives that elicit an immediate response and identification from the viewer, no matter their background.