UntitledArtist(s)Jackson PollockObject Creation Date1944-1945Medium & Supportengraving and drypoint on heavy white Italia wove paperDimensions
20 in x 13 ¾ in (50.8 cm x 34.92 cm);18 ⅛ in x 22 3/16 in (46.04 cm x 56.36 cm)Credit LineGift of Professor and Mrs. Otto Graf, supplemented by funds from the Friends of the Museum of Art, in honor of Charles H. Sawyer, 1972/2.387Label copy
Best known by his nickname "Jack the Dripper," a reference to his paint-dripped and paint-splashed canvases of the late 1940s and early 50s, Jackson Pollock began as a student of American Realist painter Thomas Hart Benton. Pollock, however, did not find satisfaction in this manner of representation, which Benton used to celebrate American themes such as farmers, sharecroppers, and urban life. Pollock was drawn to certain tenets of the Surrealist school of thought, relying more on the unconscious or subconscious as a source of imagery. In this way, his work of this period bears certain similarities to the work of Arshile Gorky and Paul Klee, among others.
Untitled represents one of Pollock's only forays into etching and engraving. Although some works in his printing experiments are closely related to Surrealism in the style of Joan Miró, this particular image relates to work Pollock was doing in his paintings at this time. Abstracted sculptural forms in lighter values stand in contrast to dense, dark backgrounds. In both his paintings and this print, Pollock's forms are immersed in their environment. Their curvilinear outlines are constantly rising and falling, creating an animated pattern coursed by the viewer's eye. Pollock's passion for line was to become an increasingly important factor in his work of the next few years.
Sean M. Ulmer, University Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, on the occasion of the exhibition The New York School: Abstract Expressionism and Beyond, July 20, 2002 – January 19, 2003Primary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaModern and ContemporaryRights
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modern and contemporary art