Number 1, 1949 is an oil on canvas painting created by Jackson Pollock in 1949. The art piece measures 160 cm by 259 cm and is part of Pollock’s breakthrough between 1947 to 1950. The painting was made by pouring and splattering paint on an unstretched canvas on the floor of his studio, using unconventional items like aluminum paints and enamels.
The artwork met with mixed reactions when it debuted in 1948 due to its lack of a focal point. However, Number 1 highlights the wholesome abstraction that Pollock had achieved during the late ’40s. This classic artwork symbolizes this evolution from representational to gestural or Action Painting style.
Number 1, together with other famous paintings like One: Number 31 (1950) and Number Three (1949), mark Pollock’s life transition from easel paintings to his signature drip canvases. These iconic works reflect his contribution as an artist in shaping American Expressionism.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles has included Number One, along with other works from Jackson Pollock in their exhibition which highlights his profound impact on contemporary art practices worldwide.