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Undulating Paths is an oil on canvas painting by the notable American abstract expressionist painter, Jackson Pollock
Pollock’s painting style from the mid 1940’s onwards was wholly abstract. The years of 1947 -1952 saw him utilise a style of drip and splash action painting in his work, for which he is most widely known.
Undulating Paths, painted in 1947, is one of the first examples of Pollock’s drip and splash style of action painting.
Bucking convention, Pollock did not use an easel to create Undulating Paths, nor others while employing this style in his work. Metallic paint and commercial enamel was randomly dripped, poured and splashed from a can onto the canvas which he had placed on the floor.
Pollock then directed the paint upon the canvas using a variety of tools including knives, sticks, broken glass and sand all the while energetically moving around the canvas. This method, as utilised in Undulating Paths, eschewed areas of emphasis and traditional composition within the painting.
Pollock's Undulating Paths and other paintings in the drip and splash style were publicly shown for the first time in 1948 at Betty Parsons’ New York gallery, to both shock and acclaim. Undulating Paths is currently situated in the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, Italy.
Jackson Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming in 1912. He studied at the Art Students League of New York from 1929-31 and was significantly influenced by the tutelage of Thomas Hart Benton and his high-energy style of painting during this period of study.
Pollock's painting during this period and throughout the 1930’s was also meaningfully influenced by the work of the Mexican muralists and certain qualities of surrealism that appealed to him.