How Pollock Can Change Your ...

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How Pollock Can Change Your ...

From Iian Neill

Published before 2005


What seems to be at the heart of the issue is that to be truly spontaneous the artist actually requires a great deal of learning and control. In this sense spontaneity in art - as in musical performance or composition (such as jazz) or in conversation (wit) - has a legitimate function. It charms, delights, disarms through its artlessness, and, when indulged by a master, can result in a more natural air to composition, rhythm, or gesture. Spontaneity in this sense is little different from improvisation; but improvisation, though not deliberate in the sense of composed work, still demands great keenness of intellect and a sure grasp of facts and technique. Often the most affecting parts of a speech are those where the orator leaves aside his notes and speaks spontaneously from the heart. But it is hardly spontaneous (in a good sense) if he starts flitting from one unrelated subject to another. That might make good stream of consciousness but not good art.

There is a great difference between spontaneity and mere caprice.