Mask (1941) by Jackson Pollock

Mask - Jackson Pollock - 1941

Artwork Information

ArtistJackson Pollock
Dimensions42.5 x 48.3 cm
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationMuseum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, NY, US

About Mask

The artwork entitled “Mask,” created by Jackson Pollock in 1941, is an oil on canvas piece classified within the Expressionism movement. Its dimensions measure 42.5 by 48.3 cm and depict a figurative scene. The piece is part of the collection housed at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, New York, United States.

“Mask” presents a vibrant amalgam of abstracted elements and distorted forms that coalesce to outline a semblance of a face. The central motif resembles a mask-like visage with eyes, a nose, and a mouth discernible amidst the dynamic array of shapes and colors. The expression on the face captured within the artwork appears somewhat contorted, reflective of the emotional intensity commonly associated with Expressionist art. The palette is rich and varied, with a dominant contrast between the warmer tones of the face and the cooler hues of the surrounding composition. The heavy texture and impasto technique lend a tangible depth to the surface, rendering the artwork almost sculptural in its physicality.

Pollock’s style in this particular piece diverges from his more recognized drip paintings of the later 1940s and 50s, instead embodying a forceful directness that is more representative of his earlier works. Here, the artist’s brushwork is gestural, and the figurative elements suggest an exploration of mythological or primitive themes, a common thread observed in Pollock’s oeuvre during this period. “Mask” encapsulates a raw, almost primeval energy, inviting viewers to consider the interplay between the chaos of abstract expression and the human instinct to find order and meaning within it.

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