"Centennial Aloe"
John Pollock





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Rattlesnake Valley Press
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Artist Copyright

John Pollock
"Centennial Aloe"

Lithograph, 1988
22 x 32 inches
Rattlesnake Valley Press Montana Centennial Issue, released 1988.
Printed by John Pollock at Artisan Press, Billings, Montana


John Pollock does not depend on "local or regional images" for the subject matter of his art. A Billings native, he was educated at Eastern Montana College and Montana State University from which he graduated with a Master's degree in Applied Arts in 1973. Pollock is now a Professor of Art at Eastern and is an owner of, and printer for, the Artisan Press in Billings. He has received numerous awards and honors for his work, among them a Western Arts Foundation printmaking fellowship in 1980. His art has been exhibited widely and is in collections around the country.

Pollock, whose own talent received early nurturing from sensitive parents, finds being an artist in Montana a challenge because it seems "a little harder to be aware of historical and contemporary works... " but at the same time he values the "greater degree of independent creativity" physical distance from metropolitan centers provides. He has enjoyed working on the Rattlesnake Valley Press Centennial Portfolio, and he is one of two artist's who actually printed his own work.

Pollock's Portfolio print underscores his current subject matter: plants and flowers. These are used to present relationships between formal and informal elements: "the plants in my work are the informal component and the patterns, borders and weaves are the formal components." The intense colors in this four-color lithograph are held in a delicate balance as they blend to create a unity which echoes the resolution of relationships between plant and pattern. In Pollock's own words in American Artist in 1985, "The result is a 'mental reality' that could not totally exist in a physical world by itself." Studying his print, one understands Pollock's claim that he is really neither a painter nor a printmaker, but an "image-maker."

--From the Rattlesnake Valley Press Centennial Issue, 1989, Margaret Mudd

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