1912 Cody, Wyoming – 1956, Springs, New York
The New York-trained American painter is hailed as the leading exponent of Action Painting, whereby he regarded the act of painting as a ritualistic element of the creative process. From 1947 onwards Pollock developed a completely new method of painting whereby he dripped paint in a gestural manner, flinging and pouring it over the usually unprimed canvases that were placed flat on the ground. He also incorporated materials such as sand, wood and broken glass. The rhythmic, dynamic application of paint created dense webs of multilayered streaks and colour textures; Pollock’s ‘all-over’ compositions express a dance-like energy and allow figurative associations. In his late work he returned to a style of painting involving mythical figures that reflected his early studies under Thomas Hart Benton.