Circumcision Jackson Pollock Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Jackson Pollock's Circumcision painting was completed in 1946. The artist was inspired by Pablo Picasso and that connection is evident in this painting and in several of his other works.

In fact, the Circumcision painting shows more evidence of that influence than many of the works which were completed after that.

This painting is important as a transitional work. During the period of its creation, Pollock still used a brush more of the time. He had not yet started placing more emphasis on painting by pouring.

The solid geometric lines which are evident here are not seen as often in some of his later paintings, such as Untitled (Green Silver) and Number 10.

As Pollock began to develop his Action Painting technique more, viewers see less and less of the distinctive Analytical Cubism that Picasso is known for. However, Pollock still remains faithful to Picasso's move towards abstraction in his work.

With Circumcision, interesting lines in various shades of blue mark the orders between indistinct figures.

Even though a cubist style is evident, Pollock is clearly moving away from it in "Circumcision". His distinctive fluid style is evident here as he seeks to express himself on the canvas.

The figures seem to flow, merging in in some sections. The whole canvas is covered with intense colour but some are more filled to the brim with conflict than others.

As with all of Pollock's drip paintings, intense vigour is evident in Circumcision. Even here, the texture of the paint seems just as important as the shape of the lines formed with each stroke.

At times it seems each line tells a story that is separate from what is being expressed through the whole painting. Each stroke has a rhythm that is uniquely its own.

Elements of different totemic figures are distributed throughout the entire painting but one cannot be sure exactly what they are and it is up to the viewer to determine what they represent.