Pollock & Sheehan 1950 -56
Jackson Pollock only met up with Kline & Sheehan towards the end of his life; they became Pollock’s’ best Painter friends after 1950. Jackson used to meet up with Sheehan at The Cedar Tavern almost every Sunday night during the last few years of Jackson’s life; They would Talk & drink beer till late, sometimes stopping for a steak at a place on (12 st.?) Jackson would stay at Sheehan’s studio, 27 West 8th Street
Sheehan met Jackson Pollack when he was visiting his friends Marca Relli & Don Braider, author of ‘The Color of the light ; about El Greco and The Palace Guard’ about the aftermath of Jackson Pollock’s death. Don had opened The House of Music & Books in Sag Harbor; where he gave Jackson Pollack one of his first shows. Marca Relli had photographic Portraits taken by Sheehan years previously; he gave Sheehan two of his earliest paintings from the 1920’s as payment:
Quotes from Jeffery Potter Interview:
“Latter that evening Don took me over to Pollock’s place on Fireside road as he was to pick up some paintings for a group show in Don’s Gallery ‘The House of Music& Books’ house, not the barn, there was a stack of paintings in the corner, and Don was with her and I sat on the couch with Pollock. Lee was apparently in a very bad mood she said “which painting do you want Don to take?” her tone was abrasive, I remember because it was the first time I had met her.
So he said ” Let him have anyone he wants” You know Pollock, he didn’t want to say “Well give him the one with the green,yellow and blue on it” or something;
and these were not drip paintings, these were the style where he was painting on raw canvas, principally Black, Browns, Ockers.
So she said “Tell me which one to give Don”, like he wasn’t answering her question.
So he says “Let Don pick out one he likes” So she looks at him very disgustedly and Don was standing there looking like he was caught in the middle, thinking what am I supposed to do? pick something out? I’m sitting there and there is this coffee table in front of the couch with a big bowl of seedless green grapes on it. So Pollock says to me “Have a grape” It was so funny cause it had nothing at all to do with the situation
They formed a friendship that grew right up to Jackson’s tragic car accident. .
When John told me any stories about any of the painters, it was by expressing his feelings by declarations; example: When he heard that Pollock was dead his immediate reaction was to think “God Dam You Jackson, why did you have to go and wrap yourself around a tree , just before you were going to introduce me to Sidney Janis.”
John didn’t think the accident was due to alcohol as much as the skidding on loose gravel on that stretch of road, he said he had noticed it when he was in East Hampton a week or so before; John also thought Jackson’s reputation for drinking was over exaggerated because he found Pollock to be a delightful & mischievous “Beer Drinking Buddy” not a drunk
excerpt from Jeffery Potter’s interview:
” Well we spent a lot of time at the Old Cedar Tavern over on University Place between 8th & 9th,because the new one was nothing like the old one; it was like a Bistro, blue neon lights, everything wrong about it, but it was perfect; even English hunting prints on the wall . There were 5 or 4 the former owner had just left them up, nobody objected. No TV no jukebox,right, nobody wanted it in there; The owners consulted a couple of times, I think they wanted to watch TV
Pollock would drop in randomly there were no appointments, we would meet one way or another, never made plans. After a while He came in on Sundays at night, sometimes he would be there when I came in or the other way round and we would meet up; and we’d stay there until it closed; drinking ,talking, then we’d go round to Richers, which was like a new coffee pot, hamburgers, ham & eggs and all that stuff.
The crowd that would hangout were intimidated by Pollock’s reputation , they avoided him, guess they thought him too hot to handle and didn’t engage with him much; whereas I was never impressed with greatness of any kind; so maybe that’s why we got along together; in other words I treated Pollock as if he were human, not as if he were some kind of freak. We had similar backgrounds in a lot of respects; de kooning had a competitive rivalry with him; fueled by Harold Rosenberg portraying Pollock as like a mid-western hick; you know, like he used to like to crouch down in front of a fire and roast a piece of steak he just cut off of a steer, or something like that. You know that idea that he was totally unsophisticated, raw-boned idiot. But what Rosenberg was doing was building up de Kooning’s reputation.
Pollock sometimes would meet Ruth Klegman there for a date, they would have dinner then leave.”
Greeting Card from Jackson Pollock’s Studio
The Jackson Pollock Studio requested permission to use this painting for greeting cards and are currently in use there.