clock menu more-arrow no yes

How Jackson Pollock became so overrated

If he is overrated, this is the critic who made him that way.

Is he?

It’s easy to have an opinion about artist Jackson Pollock, but Clement Greenberg’s opinion actually made a difference.

The video above tries to explain just how Pollock got so famous, and midcentury art critic Greenberg (as written about in this Florence Rubenfeld biography) may be the reason. The influential critic was responsible for some of the earliest, and most important, reviews of Pollock’s work, and their careers followed a similar trajectory.

That critical influence has had a big impact on the way we think about art and art history, and it’s made Jackson Pollock a legend. If Pollock is overrated, Greenberg was the one doing it first.

You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube. Subscribe for more episodes.