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Iowans have welcomed home an art favorite.

Jackson Pollock’s Mural, which underwent nearly two years of conservation work, has returned to Iowa. This past weekend, the Sioux City Art Center held an opening for the exhibit.

The display will remain at the art center until April 2015.

“This painting by Jackson Pollock is the most important work of art in Iowa and one of the most significant paintings in American art,” said Sean OHarrow, the director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

Initially scheduled to start on June 10, the now nine-month display is part of Museum of Art’s sharing project called “Legacies for Iowa.” Museums, art centers, and galleries are provided pieces from the UI’s 14,000-part collection as part of the program.

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Jackson Pollock’s “Mural,” a stunning oil-on-canvas measuring more than 8 feet tall and nearly 20 feet long, is currently on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The painting recently underwent an extensive restoration at the Getty Center, which took over a year to complete.

“Mural,” which was painted in 1943 for the well-known art collector, Peggy Guggenheim, represents a turning point in Pollock’s career in which he gravitated towards the abstract expressionism that defined his seminal “drip” paintings. The work belongs to the University of Iowa Museum of Art, which received it as a gift from Guggenheim in 1951.

Restorers removed a varnish that was added to the painting during a 1973 restoration. While the previous conservation effort helped preserve the work, the varnish significantly darkened the painting’s colors. “Mural” now appears much brighter and its colors are closer to their original intensity.

During the restoration process, conservators made a number of new discoveries regarding the Pollock painting. It had long been believed that the artist created “Mural” in a single creative burst that lasted between 24 and 36 hours. Restorers noticed that Pollock’s initial paint marks, which cover the entire canvas, were made in four highly diluted colors, which could have been created in a day. However, the other additions to the canvas would have taken much longer than that to dry. Restorers also confirmed that Pollock used house paint as well as high-quality oil paints to make “Mural.”

“Mural” will remain on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum through June 1. After it leaves Los Angeles, the painting will go on view at the Sioux City Art Center in Iowa for several months.

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