Sample Essay on Artists: John Cage, Marcel Duchamp & Jackson Pollack

Artists: John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, and Jackson Pollack

John Cage

John Cage, born John Milton Cage Jr. on 5 September 1912 is a renowned American composer, who did alongside wrote, drew, and doing music theory. He was also a pioneer in the non-standard utilization of musical instruments, electro-acoustic music, and indeterminacy in music. Cage was among the most significant music composers in America in the 20th Century, a fact that has been proven by a number of critics over time. Through his association with Merce Cunningham, Cage was highly influential in developing modern dance. The most important work of John Cage is his composition done in 1952, known as 4’33”. The piece is performed without any deliberate sounds, and the artists who present the piece do not do anything except be present for the duration that is specified by the piece’s title, whose content consists of the environmental sounds that the audience gets to hear and listen to by the audience during the performance.

Marcel Duchamp

He was a French-American painter, sculptor, writer, and chess player, and his writing work has been largely associated with conceptual art and Dadaism. The innovative developments experienced in the plastic arts, which eventually led to the significant developments of sculpture and painting could be attributed to the efforts of Duchamp. In addition to this, he influenced the development of post-World War art, otherwise known as Western Art by advising contemporary collectors including Peggy Guggenheim among others. Among his most important works include “Nude Descending a Staircase” (No. 2), “The Fountain” and “Etant donnes” among others. In spite of his numerous works of art, Duchamp’s most memorable contribution to art and its history lies in his capability to admonish, query, critique as well as lightheartedly ridicule the existing customs and standards with the aim of going beyond the status quo. He was able to sanction the role of the artist for this (Metmuseum.org).

Jackson Pollock

Born Paul Jackson Pollock on 28 January 1912, Jackson Pollock is an influential painter as well as a key figure in the movement of abstract expressionism. He used a unique painting style known as drip painting. In 1956, he was dubbed Pollock ‘Jack the Dripper” by Time magazine as a result of this unique style.

The most important works of Pollock were done during his ‘drip period’, which was between 1947 and 1950. The 1950 Untitled is especially outstanding, having been done using the artist’s unique style of drip and splash, and signed “J.Pollock. The painting, modest in size (15 inches by 281 and a half inches) contains some particular yellow paint pigments that were only available commercially in 1970, despite Pollock having used them in 1950.

How do Cage’s and Duchamp’s Artistic Visions Compare With that of Jackson Pollock?

Cage and Duchamp have both been accredited with innovations in their different fields of art, and so did Pollock. Cage was influential in composition as well as in developing contemporary dance, while Duchamp was instrumental in the intensification of plastic arts which gave way to painting and sculpture. In the same way, Pollock introduced a new style of drip painting.