Pollock’s MURAL (1943) – UPDATED 7/28

Recently visited the Des Moines Art Center – a true hidden cultural gem in Iowa – to see Jackson Pollock’s MURAL which was commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim back before he was famous.


It is big. Almost 180 square feet big. Bigger than a lot of studio apartments in NYC, almost a 1/3 of the size of my apartment. And it was to be hung in Peggy’s foyer, although it ended up covering an entire wall.

After spending a considerable amount of time taking it in from many different angles, I discovered this article a few days later making a claim that ol’ JP wrote his name in this piece. Sweet.

As for a formal analysis I think one needs to see it several times to get a true impression. The overall feeling of movement on a flat, 2D surface is very present in this work. I had only ever seen easel-sized Pollocks before this and was curious to see one of his heroic sized ones. I dare say there’s a lot going on in the painting, one can see all kinds of faces and images throughout the work. When you let your eyes float from the foreground to the background it’s almost like you extra images in between, as if there are spectral images locked into the painting.

UPDATE – Looks like I got to see MURAL just a few months before it leaves the great state of Iowa for a few years to head out to LA to get some conservation work done on it. Then it’s gonna get an LA show in 2014. Must go see that.

Read the article here.

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