Jackson Pollock. Number 1A, 1948. 1948

Jackson Pollock Number 1A, 1948 1948

  • MoMA, Floor 4, 403 The David Geffen Galleries

While the style of "drip" painting has become synonymous with the name Jackson Pollock, here the artist has autographed the work even more directly, with several handprints found at the composition's upper right. “Sometimes I use a brush but often prefer using a stick. Sometimes I pour the paint straight out of the can. I like to use a dripping, fluid paint.” Working on the floor in a spacious converted barn on Long Island, Pollock moved away from traditional artist’s oil paints and embraced lower viscosity commercial enamel paints.The fluidity of this paint allowed him to directly capture the movements of his entire body over the canvas. Around the same time, Pollock stopped giving his paintings evocative titles and began instead to number them. His wife, artist Lee Krasner, later explained, "Numbers are neutral. They make people look at a painting for what it is—pure painting."

Gallery label from 2018
Additional text

While the style of "drip" painting has become synonymous with the name Jackson Pollock, here the artist has autographed the work even more directly, with several handprints found at the composition's upper right. Around this time Pollock stopped giving his paintings evocative titles and began instead to number them. His wife, artist Lee Krasner, later explained, "Numbers are neutral. They make people look at a painting for what it is—pure painting." Collectors did not immediately appreciate Pollock's radical new style, and when first exhibited, in 1949 (then titled Number 1, 1948), this painting remained unsold. Later that year the work was shown again in the artist’s second solo exhibition (Pollock added "A" to the title to avoid confusion with more recent work) and shortly thereafter was purchased by MoMA.

Gallery label from Abstract Expressionist New York, October 3, 2010-April 25, 2011.
Medium
Oil and enamel paint on canvas
Dimensions
68" x 8' 8" (172.7 x 264.2 cm)
Credit
Purchase. Conservation was made possible by the Bank of America Art Conservation Project
Object number
77.1950
Copyright
© 2021 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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