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Though it has not yet received the response it deserves, it so happens that the first seriously anti-Greenbergian account of Jackson Pollock's drip paintings has been offered by Rosalind Krauss in the last chapter of her most recent book, The Optical Unconscious.(3) (Tim Clark's impressive 1990 essay on Pollock paradoxically still depended upon Greenberg's formal reading and did not challenge it,(4) though that is not true of his most recent text, discussed below; as for Harold Rosenberg's bathos on the one hand and the heap of Jungian non-sense poured over Pollock on the other, I'd say that, excluding any consideration of formal issues, these texts epitomize the idealist conception of meaning to such an extent that their hoarse anti-Greenbergianism cannot be considered as serious.) Taking her lesson from the responses of Cy Twombly, Robert Morris, and Andy Warhol to Pollock's work, Krauss shows how those artists chose to underline in it the very aspects that Greenberg had decided to ignore: the fact that the drips were made on the floor, for example (that is, down to earth and away from the vertical plane of imaginary projection), and that in abandoning the brush Pollock had severed the bodily link between gesture and touch (that is, had said farewell, so to speak, to the autographic brushstroke that had marked the birth of the modernist tradition beginning with Impressionism). In short, as soon as Greenberg had firmly set his previously fluctuating interpretation in place (in the early fifties), he provided us with a sublimatory reading of Pollock's drip paintings, one that disregarded the artist's procedures and edited out anything too dangerously close to a scatological smearing of matter (no mention, for example, of the "heterogeneity of trash," to borrow Krauss's expression, that Pollock had "dumped" onto the surface of Full Fathom Five - nails, buttons, tacks, keys, coins, cigarettes, matches . . .). To be sure Greenberg had excuses - he had to deal with the Hollywoodian theatralization of "angst" by Rosenberg and company, and he obviously thought that portraying Pollock as Olympian would do the trick - but what I want to underscore here is the fact that the quintessential "formalist" critic had to blind himself to several important formal aspects of Pollock's art (arguably the most important ones) in order to maintain his fiction that the drip paintings were pure optical "mirages."

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