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Number 27, 1950


Jackson Pollock, Number 27, 1950, 1950. Oil, enamel, and aluminum paint on canvas, 49 × 106 in. (124.5 × 269.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase  53.12
© 2009 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Jackson Pollock found that figurative painting did not let him express his emotions in the way that he wanted, so he thought of a new and unusual way to paint. He put a large piece of canvas on the floor, then used paintbrushes and sticks to drip, swirl, splatter, and pour layers of paint onto the painting’s surface. The tangled layers and colors of paint show how he moved around the canvas. The twists and lines of paint represent the speed and energy of his movements, fast or slow, arching or abrupt, and form an “allover” composition that covers the entire surface of the painting. While he was working, Pollock would hang the painting on the wall every so often to see what he wanted to do next. Then he would put it on the floor again to add more drips, swirls, and splatters of color until the painting was finished.
Jackson Pollock, Number 27, 1950, 1950
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