Uneasy that Jackson Pollock's paintings indicate a profound involvement with myth and that his dedication to the curative potential of psychoanalysis indicate a sustained engagement with his infantile fantasies and early family history, art historians have not agreed on how to interpret Pollock's paintings. There are two major trends: Pollock's “opticality” and the meaning of the nonrepresentational and representational marks found in them. Soussloff seeks a third way—the meaning of myth, ritual, and performance in Pollock's abstractions.

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