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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: Spike Mafford / Zocalo Studios. Courtesy of the Friday Foundation



Jackson Pollock

American, 1912-1956

In 1948, Pollock showed his first drip paintings at Sidney Janis Gallery in New York, which caused a stir among the city’s vanguard artists and critics. His method of dripping paint, rather than painting with a brush, introduced movement and eliminated the issue of pictorial depth and perspective that had been a point of discussion since the early 20th century. Drawing was an integral part of Pollock’s practice: “I approach painting in the same sense as one approaches drawing, that is, it’s direct.” Informed by the Surrealists’ interest in chance and the unconscious, this drawing plays with memory in the form of a material trace and deploys chance. Using absorbent Japanese paper, Pollock allowed the ink of this drawing to stain the underlying sheet, which he slightly modified as a second drawing, now at the National Galleries of Scotland.
Black and colored ink on mulberry paper
24 3/4 x 39 1/4 in. (63 x 99.7 cm)
Gift of the Friday Foundation in honor of Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis
Provenance: The artist; to Clement Greenberg, New York, for his birthday; Mrs. Virginia Kondratiev; [Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, California]; Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Lambert, Dallas, Texas; [Janie C. Lee Gallery, Houston, Texas]; [André Emmerich Gallery, New York]; purchased from gallery by Jane and Richard E. Lang, Seattle, Washington, by 1980; Friday Foundation, Seattle, Washington, 2018; to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 2020
Photo: Spike Mafford / Zocalo Studios. Courtesy of the Friday Foundation
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySão Paulo, Brazil, Museu de Arte Moderna, IV Bienal do Museu de Arte Moderna, Sept. 22 - Dec. 31, 1957. Cat. no. 21, p. 201.

Jackson Pollock: 1912–1956, organized by the International Program of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, under the auspices of the International Council at the Museum of Modern Art (Rome, Italy, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Mar. 1 - 30, 1958; Basel, Switzerland, Kunsthalle Basel, Apr. 19 - May 26, 1958; Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Stedelijk Museum, June 6 - July 7, 1958; Hamburg, Germany, Kunstverein Hamburg, July 19 - Aug. 17, 1958; Berlin, Germany, Hochschule für Bildende Kunste, Sept. 3 - Oct. 1, 1958; London, England, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Nov. 5 - Dec. 14, 1958; Paris, France, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Jan. 16 - Feb. 15, 1959).

Los Angeles, California, Dwan Gallery, [Group Show], June 11 - July 7, 1962.

New York, New York, Museum of Modern Art, Jackson Pollock: Works on Paper, 1968. Cat. no. 45 (exhibition brochure); p. 90, reproduced pl. 91.

New York, New York, Museum of Modern Art, Jackson Pollock: Drawing into Painting, Feb. 4 - Mar. 16, 1980 (Oxford, England, Museum of Modern Art, Apr. 1 - May 13, 1979). Cat. no. 59, reproduced p. 78.

Seattle, Washington, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Art in America: Washington Collections—An American Tradition: Abstraction, Dec. 4, 1981 - Jan. 17, 1982.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The Richard and Jane Lang Collection, Feb. 2 - Apr. 1, 1984. Cat. no. 36, pp. 50-51, reproduced.

New York, Museum of Modern Art, Jackson Pollock, Nov. 1, 1998 - Feb. 2, 1999 (London, England, Tate, Mar. 11 - June 8, 1999). No cat. no., p. 289, reproduced pl. 202.

Liverpool, England, Tate Liverpool, Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots, June 30 - Oct. 18, 2015 (Dallas Museum of Art, Nov. 20, 2015 - Mar. 20, 2016). No cat. no., reproduced pl. 122.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection, Oct. 15, 2021 - Nov. 27, 2022 [on view Oct. 15, 2021 - May 22, 2022]. Text by Carter E. Foster. No cat. no., pp. 34-35, 41, 46, 90-95, 191, reproduced pp. 91 (pl. 91), 182, 184 (detail).
Published ReferencesRose, Bernice. Jackson Pollock: Works on Paper. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1969. Reproduced p. 90.

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