Jackson Pollock – 2

Jackson Pollock, Lavender Mist, Number Mist, 1950
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)
Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist)
, 1950
221 x 299.7 cm (87 x 118 inches)
Oil, enamel and aluminum on canvas

National Gallery of Art, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund

In the 1950s art critic Harold Rosenberg described the archetypal "action painter" as an artist who transformed his canvas into a modern-day arena wherein an epic struggle between man and material might unfold. Process was paramount. With grand, heroically scaled gestures, the action painter created an art of confrontation and catharsis. Nearly half a century later, contemporary response to the rhetorical excesses that helped establish action painting as a "heroic" art form has been tempered, and the view of abstract expressionism as the triumph of American painting has fallen out of fashion. There is, however, no denying Pollock's monumental impact on the history of American art.