Abstract Critical

Fred Pollock: Portrait of an Abstract Artist

Written by Ronan Pollock

‘My aim was to make paintings which were visually powerful, which had a lot of impact on first viewing, but also had a depth of other events.’ 

A short-film on the painter Fred Pollock, by Ronan Pollock. Pollock was born in Glasgow in 1937, and studied at Glasgow School of Art. He lives and works in London. His paintings were recently discussed in the Brancaster Chronicles.

 

  1. Robin Greenwood said…

    You can read a discussion on Fred Pollock’s work here:
    http://brancasterchronicles.wordpress.com/

  2. Siobhan Welsh said…

    Dear Bruce,
    it was great to read your post, it would be good to meet up, please get in touch through the Poussin gallery, they will pass your contact details on to dad.It would be so good to hear from you after all this time.
    Love to all the family Siobhanx

  3. John Pollard said…

    An excellent film which does indeed wet one’s appetite to see Fred’s work in the flesh. More films like this would be great.

  4. Patrick Jones said…

    I sometimes find Abstract Critical,an anonymous website ,lacking in the intimacies,insight and profundity of the Brancaster Chronicles,which did him very good service..I feel we owe Fred a a more interesting response[and Tim Scott]as well as thorough dissection of his spacial qualities.He is so much more interesting to look at and unravel than the Gagosian show ,to my book,particularly in his structure.The fact that he started with the well tried organisational structures such as stacking ,overlapping and ended up with an intuitive exciting “jamming in colour”marks him out from his contemporaries as musical.To me he is the Sonny Rollins of painting in his full on tone.

    • Noela said…

      It would be great to see Fred Pollock’s work for real. Do you know if that is possible?

      • Robin Greenwood said…

        Noela,
        If you send me an email to the address on the Poussin Gallery website I’ll put you in touch with Fred.

        By the way, liked what you said about Robert Linsley’s work.

  5. Chris Walker said…

    Fred Pollock’s paintings are very moving and the manner in which he explains his love of painting should be an inspiration to all [artists]. I’ve looked at this video many times and have come to the conclusion that he is…he is; and there is no doubt, right up there with the very best abstractors – in any era. I could go on, but I note that many viewers [Jenny, Kelvin, Geoff, Peter, Patrick] have covered most of what I am thinking. I like the words ‘raw’, ‘eloquent’, ‘life’, ‘movement’, and much more that has been used to describe Fred’s work. But it is the colour, in all its application, and careful composition, that standout for me. Colour, magnificent.
    I just have to get over there to see it all – up close.

  6. Bruce Gould said…

    The last time I saw Fred & the work was about 30 years ago in his Wapping studio. I took a series of photos which I have guarded preciously over the years.It as great to hear Fred talk so affirmatively about these fabulous paintings and to see how he has stuck to his guns over all these years. The work looks as fresh now as it did then.
    I also enjoyed reading Siobhan’s comments on her dad.

  7. Siobhan Welsh said…

    It’s great to read what Patrick Jones has said about my father’s work as i have felt this way ever since i first stepped into his studio as a young girl and realized WOW… so this is what you do every day!It has been a great journey watching my dad painting in his studio throughout the last 25 years.In the middle of winter i would go and visit him in his studio were he would be wearing many layers and drinking hot cups of tea to keep warm.I asked my dad why he wouldn’t get a heater and he said it would stop him from moving around, such dedication.
    Ronan- the film is great!xx

  8. Noela said…

    Just watched this film again and yes, Fred Pollock says it all really.

  9. Geoffrey Pimlott said…

    Raw colour, raw gestures, raw paintings:- a very interesting video of a raw, interesting, painter. Seeing someone else paint, and talk about their work is always useful in considering one’s own practice.

  10. Patrick Jones said…

    It may be too obvious to state that the reason I find Freds work so engaging is that his work is close to outlining a definition of the future of Abstract Painting .In the future the activety he is engaged with will have more and more relevance historically ,politically and socially.How many young artists have the grit to put up with hours in the studio away from social media learning from their mistakes should not define the future of Abstract Painting.Nor should this lessen his importance as a visionary,by stressing the importance of COLOUR as THE vehicle for expression.

  11. Peter Stott said…

    Strong ‘abstract painting’ compositions, obviously ‘got the eye for it’, enjoyed the film too, is that good when you want a bit more?

  12. Geoff Hands said…

    I have admired Fred Pollock’s paintings since I was a student in the 1970s. His work never fails to satisfy. His journey with abstraction is epic.

  13. Kelvin Harvey said…

    I have never heard of this artist, and happy in my ignorance and isolation I too have been exploring this style of painting, engaging in a personal dialogue with self, paint, surface colour and mark making.
    Question now is do I stop, clearly Fred Pollock has mastered this with his incredible paintings, full of life, movement and gesture. Often I have considered removing any prospect of influence from my work by not reading or viewing any material, but am constantly amazed on how apparently disconnected artists come to the same or similar conclusions, whilst the art world itself will only accept one version deriding the rest as either derivative or pastiche. Somehow I will need to modify my approach to ensure I do not clash with Fred or allow what I have now seen to influence my interpretations.
    To Fred Pollock I say I admire your skill and dedication to your work and wish you long life.

  14. jenny meehan said…

    Beautiful, so insightful, moving and inspiring.

  15. Patrick Jones said…

    Fred Pollock is an outstanding British Colour Painter.His work at the Brancaster Chronicles was eloquent beyond words.The surface was intially dis /queting but the more I looked,the more the overloaded colour suface moved with its own rythym.I wished we had been able to film his comments for he is a Samurai of English Painting .Every mark is locked to the surface and very far from Povisional ,in its conviction,accuracy,urgency and completeness.