CULTURE & ARTS

An Art Show Explores How Jackson Pollock Learned To Drip

MoMA's survey exhibition features large-scale paintings alongside his lesser-known lithographs and drawings.
French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres looks at a painting by Jackson Pollock at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres looks at a painting by Jackson Pollock at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York on November 3, 2005.

The artistic trajectory of Jackson Pollock, otherwise known as "Jack the Dripper," can be traced in a show held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York until May 1, 2016.

Titled "Jackson Pollock: A Collection Survey, 1934-1954," the exhibition showcases 50 artworks from across 20 years of the renowned abstract expressionist's career, executed in different techniques, including drawing, printmaking and action. 

Pollock's artistic path gradually progressed towards abstraction. He was initially influenced by masters of classical painting such as Rubens and El Greco, as well as Mexican muralists such as José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. That phase was closely followed by a fascination with Picasso and a growing interest in themes of the subconscious, origin myths and psychoanalysis.

American abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) in his studio at 'The Springs,' East Hampton, New York, A
American abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) in his studio at 'The Springs,' East Hampton, New York, August 23, 1953.

After working with a paintbrush for years, Pollock experimented with applying pain onto his canvases with hardened brushes, small rods and kitchen tools. Through what has been described as the dripping technique, Pollock turned art into a physical act. The production and conception processes the artist went through to produce the artwork became just as revealing as the resulting object.  

Pollock was more at ease working on the floor, he said. "I feel nearer, more a part of the painting since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting."

In addition to Pollock's most famous works, the MoMA show presents lesser known lithographs and serigraphs by the artist, produced in a range of materials and techniques. Underling the exhibition is experimentation and attention to process. 

"Jackson Pollock: A Collection Survey, 1934–1954" will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City until May 1, 2016.

  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). One: Number 31, 1950. 1950. Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 8′ 10″ x 17′ 5 5/8″ (269.5
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). One: Number 31, 1950. 1950. Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 8′ 10″ x 17′ 5 5/8″ (269.5 x 530.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection Fund (by exchange), 1968. © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Untitled (Animals and Figures). 1942. Gouache and ink on paper, 22 ½ x 29 7/8” (57.1 x
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Untitled (Animals and Figures). 1942. Gouache and ink on paper, 22 ½ x 29 7/8” (57.1 x 76 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Donald B. Straus Fund, 1958 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Untitled. 1945. Pastel, gouache, and ink on paper, 30 5/8 x 22 3/8” (77.7 x 56.9 cm).
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Untitled. 1945. Pastel, gouache, and ink on paper, 30 5/8 x 22 3/8” (77.7 x 56.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, 1958 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Untitled. c. 1943-44. Screenprint, composition and sheet: 8 1.4 x 5 1/2” (21 x 14 cm).
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Untitled. c. 1943-44. Screenprint, composition and sheet: 8 1.4 x 5 1/2” (21 x 14 cm). Publisher: unpublished. Printer: the artist. Edition: unique proof. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, in honor of Lily Auchincloss, 1996 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Untitled. c. 1943-44. Screenprint, composition: 8 7/16 x 5 1/2″ (21.5 x 14 cm); sheet:
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Untitled. c. 1943-44. Screenprint, composition: 8 7/16 x 5 1/2″ (21.5 x 14 cm); sheet: 11 7/16 x 8 3/4″ (29 x 22.3 cm). Publisher: unpublished. Printer: the artist. Edition: unique proof. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, in honor of Lily Auchincloss, 1996 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). One: Number 31, 1950. 1950. Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 8′ 10″ x 17′ 5 5/8″ (269.5
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). One: Number 31, 1950. 1950. Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 8′ 10″ x 17′ 5 5/8″ (269.5 x 530.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection Fund (by exchange), 1968. © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). The She-Wolf. 1943. Oil, gouache, and plaster on canvas, 41 7/8 x 67″ (106.4 x 170.2 c
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). The She-Wolf. 1943. Oil, gouache, and plaster on canvas, 41 7/8 x 67″ (106.4 x 170.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase, 1944 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (America, 1912-1956). Full Fathom Five. 1947. Oil on canvas with nails, tacks, buttons, key, coins, cigarette
    Jackson Pollock (America, 1912-1956). Full Fathom Five. 1947. Oil on canvas with nails, tacks, buttons, key, coins, cigarettes, matches, etc., 50 7/8 x 30 1/8″ (129.2 x 76.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Peggy Guggenheim, 1952 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Easter and the Totem. 1953. Oil on canvas, 6’ 10 1/8” x 58” (208.6 x 147.3 cm). The Mu
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Easter and the Totem. 1953. Oil on canvas, 6’ 10 1/8” x 58” (208.6 x 147.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lee Krasner in memory of Jackson Pollock, 1980 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). The Flame. c. 1934-38. Oil on canvas, mounted on fiberboard, 20 1/2” x 30” (51.1 x 76.
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). The Flame. c. 1934-38. Oil on canvas, mounted on fiberboard, 20 1/2” x 30” (51.1 x 76.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Enid A. Haupt Fund, 1980 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Stenographic Figure. c. 1942. Oil on linen, 40 x 56” (101.6 x 142.2 cm). The Museum of
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Stenographic Figure. c. 1942. Oil on linen, 40 x 56” (101.6 x 142.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bareiss Fund, 1980 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Untitled. c. 1950. Ink on paper, 17 1/2 x 22 1/4″ (44.5 x 56.6 cm). Museum of Modern A
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Untitled. c. 1950. Ink on paper, 17 1/2 x 22 1/4″ (44.5 x 56.6 cm). Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder in honor of Eliza Parkinson Cobb, 1982 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Gothic. 1944. Oil on canvas, 7’ 5/8” x 56” (215.5 x 142.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Ar
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Gothic. 1944. Oil on canvas, 7’ 5/8” x 56” (215.5 x 142.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Bequest of Lee Krasner, 1984 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Untitled (4), state II of III. c. 1944—45. Engraving and drypoint, plate: 14 15/16” x
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Untitled (4), state II of III. c. 1944—45. Engraving and drypoint, plate: 14 15/16” x 17 5/8” (22.3 x 30.2 cm); sheet: 18 3/4 x 24 13/16” (47.7 x 63 cm). Publisher: unpublished. Printer: the artist at Atelier 17, New York. Edition: unique trial proof. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lee Krasner Pollock, 1969 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Landscape with Steer. c. 1936—37. Lithograph with airbrushed enamel additions, composi
    Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956). Landscape with Steer. c. 1936—37. Lithograph with airbrushed enamel additions, composition: 13 13/16 x 18 9/16” (35.1 x 47.1 cm); sheet: 16 1/8 x 23 3/8” (41 x 59.3 cm). Publisher: unpublished. Printer: unknown. Edition: approx. 2-3. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lee Krasner Pollock, 1969 © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

This post first appeared on HuffPost Italy and has been translated into English.

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