Jackson Pollock’s Number 19 may see $35 million


2015-06-26 11:05:37

Jackson Pollock’s Number 19 may see $35 million

Jackson Pollock’s Number 19 may see $35 million

Christie’s May 15 evening auction of Contemporary Art is studded with several vastly significant works, and paramount among them is Jackson Pollock’s Number 19 (1948).

Pollock’s drip style paintings, created during his most important period 1947-1950, are some of the most renowned and iconic pieces of the 20th century.

They revolutionised American art, and were history-making in their significance.

Number 19 is one of these powerhouses of influence. It uses silver, black and white, with notes of red and green, built up on the canvas, poured and dripped in circular movements by the artist.

The layers make for an intricate and hypnotic, yet animated and dynamic surface. Christie’s chairman and international head of post-war and contemporary art Brett Gorvy described it as ‘one of those paintings you get lost in’.

This is regarded as one of Pollock’s finest drip paintings. 1948 marked his mastery of his radical drip technique, over which he achieved complete control.

The works were completed as a dancing performance, as onlookers observed Pollock’s unusual new method. The artist spun and gestured in the air above the canvas, and the paint seemed to appear miraculously beneath.

This freeform manner of painting, combined with the performance aspect, was ground-breaking for its time. Christie’s describe that ‘in its near miraculous union of space, force, energy, gravity, material and physical gesture, [it] opened up an entirely new dimension of painting’.

The piece is expected to fetch between $25 and $35 million on May 15.


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