Untitled I (1951) 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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This busy, vibrant artwork was completed by Jackson Pollock in 1951, at a time when he was experimenting with different techniques on paper to produce expressive, abstract lines and shapes.

Jackson Pollock loved to experiment with different ways of producing art, right across his career. This led to his oeuvre being far more diverse than most people are aware of, purely because the modern media have tended to only focus on his huge drip painting canvases. In this example he would put several sheets of paper together and then allow his ink touches to seep through from one to another. His intention around this was to have less aggressive staining in the lower sheets, which he prefered. He is known to have used Japanese paper for this task and worked on the idea across the year of 1951, with a number of similar artworks from that year also contained within the same collection at MoMA. They have managed to acquire a good number of different artworks from Pollock's career, including paintings as well as lesser known drawings, etchings, lithographs and also screenprints.

The size of this artwork is around 90cm wide by 60cm tall and it is probably that he used a selection of sheets directly from artist pads for this work. In previous years he had worked by blowing ink around the paper but clearly uses an alternative technique in order to put this particular look together. There are dabs of orange and black here, with Pollock tending to keep his experiments fairly simple just as a means to trying out different ideas that could then be expanded upon later on. Those interested in the abstract drawings of 20th century artists may also look at Rothko drawings, as well as sketches by Salvador Dali. This art form is regularly overlooked, but in recent years has started to receive more of a focus from exhibition curators.

Head to MoMA in New York City to see this piece, though it is not always on display because of the huge nature of their overall collection and relatively limited space within the gallery. White on White by Kazimir Malevich, Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night and René Magritte's The Empire of Light and False Mirror are some of the more famous artworks to find here, but the overall selection runs into the many thousands and therefore it is impossible to accurately summarise such a large collection. Suffice to say, anyone with an interest in late 19th century art up to the end of the 20th century will find plenty to suit their tastes, whatever that may be. They also continue to expand the collection annually, through private acquisitions as well as donations from some of their generous patrons.