Prince on Pollock at Guild Hall

“Covering Pollock”

    Guild Hall will open “Covering Pollock,” an exhibit by Richard Prince, on Saturday in both galleries.                    
    From his youth and formative years, Mr. Prince has been aware of and often immersed in the language and art of the Abstract Expressionists. Five years ago he drew over a book of Willem de Kooning’s paintings and created paintings that were a takeoff on de Kooning’s “Women” series. He followed that with an appropriation of works by Franz Kline. Of his Pollock series he has said that “I’m imagining what he would do today if he were still alive — what music he would listen to, what activities he would be involved with.”
The artist began with a book of Hans Namuth’s photographs, but found other images having to do with Pollock as well, including a Playboy cartoon. He covers the chosen images with collage, paint, and paper, much of it printed with more imagery: pin-ups, erotica, magazine illustrations, the band members of the Sex Pistols and other musicians, and even canceled checks. He covers up Pollock’s face and body but often lets others in the photograph, such as Lee Krasner, his wife, and Ruth Kligman, his girlfriend at the time of his death, alone.
Mr. Prince, who lives in New York and Wainscott, holds Guild Hall’s 2010 Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement in Visual Arts.
Guild Hall’s summer gala, which takes place tomorrow at 6 p.m. with a preview of the exhibit and continues with cocktails and dinner at the Gardiner house on Main Street, also celebrates Mr. Prince and honors Martha Stewart. Alec Baldwin will be the master of ceremonies. There will be a live auction, conducted by Simon de Pury, of artwork by Eric Fischl, Bryan Hunt, Barbara Kruger, and Clifford Ross.
On Saturday, there will be a members’ preview of the Prince exhibit from 4 to 5 p.m. and a free public opening from 5 to 6 p.m. It will remain on view through Oct. 17. On Sunday at 11 a.m. John MacWhinnie, a rare book dealer and art critic, will discuss the artist and the show. The cost is $7, free for Guild Hall members.