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Displaying items by tag: drip paintings

Jackson Pollock, the master of Abstract Expressionism, reached an endgame with his groundbreaking drip paintings in 1950, and then experimented with a new technique, akin to drawing, of pouring thinned black enamel onto unprimed cotton duck.

“The power of Pollock’s allover drip paintings from 1947 to 1950 is so all-commanding that they’ve forced a blind spot in our ability to look at other aspects of the artist’s genius,” said Gavin Delahunty, senior curator of contemporary art at the Dallas Museum of Art. He began researching Pollock’s “black pourings,” made from 1951 to 1953, after conversations with artists including Wade Guyton, Jacqueline Humphries and Julie Mehretu, who discussed their influence.

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After a 10-month-long restoration, New York’s Museum of Modern Art has rehung Jackson Pollock’s (1912-1956) One – Number 31, 1950. The painting, which is considered one of the most significant works from the Abstract Expressionist movement, is also one of the finest examples of Pollock’s iconic drip paintings.

The restoration process, which began last July, involved feather dusting the canvas and the removal of decades of dirt that had left the painting with a yellow tinge. MoMA’s conservators used sponges, moist erasers, and cotton swabs to gently cleanse the massive canvas, which measures 9 feet high by 17 ½ feet wide. In addition to the cleaning, conservators closely studied the painting using X-ray and ultraviolet lights.

After thorough analysis of the canvas, conservators discovered that certain portions of One – Number 31, 1950 didn’t mesh with Pollock’s signature style. The sections were texturally unusual and contained different paint than the rest of the canvas. The discovery left conservators baffled as the painting hadn’t been touched since entering the MoMA’s collection 1968 and there was no record of a previous restoration.

It soon came to light that the painting had once belonged to Pollock’s friend, the art dealer Ben Heller, and that the work had been part of a traveling exhibition during the early 1960s. Researchers were able to locate a photo taken by a scholar in 1962 that showed the painting without any of the questionable areas, which meant that the painting was altered after 1962. After examining the canvas with ultraviolet light, conservators discovered tiny cracks under the paint’s surface, leading them to believe that the alteration was an attempt at a repair. Another shocking discovery that resulted from the high-tech analysis was that some of One – Number 31, 1950 was painted while the canvas was hanging on a wall, not laying on the ground as previously believed. The painting’s drips trickle downward, which would have been impossible to achieve if Pollock had created the entire work while standing above it.

The newly restored One – Number 31, 1950 is currently on view on the MoMA’s 4th floor.

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Christie’s will present a seminal painting by Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) during their Contemporary Art Evening Auction on May 15, 2013. Created during Pollock’s most important artistic period, Number 19 (1948) is the most significant painting by the artist to appear at auction in 20 years.

One of Pollock’s famous drip paintings, Number 19 features layer upon layer of swirling silver, black, and white paint punctuated by pops of red and green. The movement of the paint mimics the movement of Pollock’s hand, creating a unique connection between the artist and the viewer.

From 1947 to 1950 Pollock was exceptionally prolific as an artist. It was during this time that he revolutionized abstract painting with his gestural drip paintings. 1948 is considered the year that Pollock truly mastered the technique, exhibiting more control over the thinned enamel paint he poured and dripped onto unprimed surfaces.

Number 19, which is an exemplary work from this remarkable period in Pollock’s career, is expected to garner anywhere form $25 million to $35 million at auction.      

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In the 1970s a coat of varnish obscured Sea Change (1947), an important work by Jackson Pollack that signaled his transition famous drip technique. The Seattle Museum of Art has tackled the restoration of Sea Change, which is a cornerstone of the institution’s collection.

Efforts appear to be going well as reporters and photographers were invited to the museum on Tuesday, November 27, to see the progress firsthand. Led by the museum’s chief conservator, Nicholas Dorman, the undertaking is complicated due to the multiple types of media used by Pollack and the sheer depth of the painting’s surface. Measuring approximately 4 x 5 feet, Sea Change consists of many layers including several types of paint (oil, house and commercial, early acrylic), a white oil base, aluminum paint drips, and imbedded gravel.

In order to preserve the original painting, Dorman had to become as familiar as possible with the work underneath the layer of old varnish. He carefully studied old X-rays of the painting as well as photographs of Pollack at work in order to learn more about the composition itself.

Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project is funding the restoration work on Sea Change. Launched in 2010, the initiative has provided about $2 million to the conservation of art and artifacts of cultural and historical value around the world.

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