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A founder member of the abstract Expressionist school of painters, Jackson Pollock executed his Number 34 in 1949.
Number 34 is so titled following Pollock’s decision to merely number and not otherwise title his works in 1948.
The piece is typical of Pollock’s work from this period, busy yet un-crowded, energetic but not frenetic, utilising an enormity of fine and more robust lines that swirl and intertwine to create a multi-coloured vibrant work that is in harmony with itself.
Executed in a mixture of oil and enamel paints, again typical of this period, the piece is painted upon white paperboard that has then been mounted on Masonite.
Still following Pollock's wish to be freed from the constraints of form and to plumb the depths of his subconscious, Number 34 is very representative of this goal.
The free flowing colours roam the surface to blend, intersect and cross each other, but at no time conflicting with the overall harmonious presence of the peace.
The colour palette is again bold, as in other of Pollock’s works of this time, but they are in keeping with each other, and not in opposition.
Pollock was influenced by psychoanalytical theory, and the attempt to free his subconscious and let it guide his expression is evident in this work. The painting is rich and vibrant, yet typifies the artist's maturity and total mastery over the technique.
The period during which this piece was executed marks a centrepoint in the evolution of Pollock’s work, culminating his years of experimentation and search for true expression; in later years he would abandon the bright palette, already much darkened in this piece, for one of black and white; these works became known as the ‘Black Pourings’ and marked a period towards the end of Pollock’s creative life.
The influences of fellow artists Paul Klee, Joan Miro, and Max Ernst are discernible in this work; other influences upon Pollock were Pablo Picasso and David Alfaro Siqueiros.