This is a multi-layered artwork which was produced over several different stages that spanned a period of several months in total. There were figurative touches first of all and some of these are still apparent now, though heavily disguised by the extra layers that were added over the top. It was a series of black lines which impacted the look of these initial figures and also meant that this composition has no actual hierarchy of importance - each part of the canvas is just as important as any other. This was another way in which traditional artistic principles were being replaced by an alternative way of thinking that many within the US were entirely embracing during the mid-20th century. There is also a greater movement towards abstraction here, where figures or symbolic touches are moving further and further away from reality.
Some comments made by the artist's wife after his death led to a number of those interested in Pollock's paintings to search for genuine forms within his abstract work. She reported that he often started with genuine objects from real life before then layering colour over the top and so suddenly many were desperately trying to make sense of what they initially assumed to be purely abstract lines and colour. They most likely would, in some cases, find things within his career that did not actually exist, but we do know in the case of There were Seven in Eight there were genuine shapes of human figures within the piece initially, as explained by both the artist and his wife. She mentioned as well that he took a break from this piece before returning to it, hence its development spanning over several months.
The Museum of Modern Art in the US hosts this painting, along with a fine selection of Jackson Pollock artworks overall, which numbers nearly one hundred. They host a good selection of drawings, but some of the more famous paintings in their collection include the likes of Stenographic Figure, The She-Wolf and also The Flame. There are also a good number of other notable artists featured within the impressive collection, some of which have been purchased privately, whilst others have been generously donated or loaned for extended periods of time. This institution can be considered one of the finest within the entire nation, and particularly in terms of those that focus specifically on 20th century art, in which the US was at its most influential.