Jackson Pollock
Number 23 1948

Artwork details

Jackson Pollock 1912–1956
Number 23
Date 1948
Medium Enamel on gesso on paper
Dimensions Support: 575 x 784 mm
frame: 651 x 861 x 42 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery (purchased out of funds provided by Mr and Mrs H.J. Heinz II and H.J. Heinz Co. Ltd) 1960
Not on display

Display caption

Pollock began to drip and pour paint in 1947. This work, in which streams of black and white enamels were poured onto the surface, shows the improvisatory possibilities of this method. The sweeping arc of Pollock's gesture can be seen in the liquid black, which has bled into the white painted background to become grey. This acts as a base over which the thicker white paint is deliberately woven. The effect is rhythmic but controlled, energetic but delicate. Although there was an element of chance, Pollock frequently emphasised the importance of decisions over the merely accidental.

July 2008

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