Thursday, April 10, 2008

Gabrielle Roy Sits For Jackson Pollock

It seems like interesting, long-hidden facts re: long-hidden/dead Canadian writers are constantly being unearthed. The newest weird dish covers a 1948 meeting between Gabrielle Roy and Jackson Pollock. Roy was travelling through Long Island with Gregory Gould, a New York bookseller who knew Pollock through Lee Krasner. Having seen Pollock's work, Roy asked Gould if they could stop at Springs (Pollock and Krasner's home/studio), and see if the artist had any pieces he was willing to sell.

Roy was looking for something to hang over her fireplace, but Pollock was working on 60x48 murals. When Roy told him why she wouldn't be able to buy any of the canvases stacked in his barn/shed workspace, Pollock apparently threw paint at her, and ordered her to leave. Gould took a picture of the argument, and later sent the photo to Krasner as a joke. Pollock saw the recoiling Roy with paint speckles on her pink shoes, and told Krasner he was going to turn the scene into a painting. Number 5 (1948) is, consequently, Pollock's interpretation of Gabrielle Roy's 1948 visit to his studio. If you look closely, you can see Roy's horrified expression as oil-based Prussian blue ruins her heels.

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