Galaxy was executed in 1947 and first shown at the annual exhibition of the American Abstract Artists group for that year. The work is very typical of Pollock’s style of pouring and dripping paint directly onto canvas to create a wealth of texture.
Galaxy in all probability started out under more conventional methods, and at which point Pollock decided to pursue other means of creating images is not known. Pollock began to experiment with the technique between the years of 1946 and 1947.
The work features the addition of pieces of gravel and sand to the unusual choice of aluminium paint, ensuring that the textures are enhanced.
Pollock turned in the early 1940s whilst living in New York to a style that was driven by the psychoanalytical works of Carl Jung and primitive symbolism and myth.
Jung’s work on the collective unconscious helped to unite such a semi-abstract style, practised not only by Pollock but also artists such as Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb.
Abstract in form and unencumbered by perspective, depth, spatial orientation or framing, Galaxy spreads across the entire canvas, a powerful symbol of Pollock’s ‘All Over’ style that was to become the main drive of his work.
The painting vibrates with the swirling, spontaneous colours of Pollock’s bright pallet, set against an almost neutral gray/white background, and draws the eye continually around the canvas as a spiral galaxy itself may do so when viewed through a powerful telescope.
A powerful, vibrant and revolutionary work, Galaxy remains one of the most evocative of Pollock’s style and symbolises the start of a great artistic journey. The painting currently resides in the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, United states of America.