Number 17 (1949) by Jackson Pollock

Number 17 - Jackson Pollock - 1949

Artwork Information

TitleNumber 17
ArtistJackson Pollock
Art MovementAbstract Expressionism,Action painting

About Number 17

The artwork “Number 17” was created by the esteemed artist Jackson Pollock in the year 1949. This piece is emblematic of the Abstract Expressionism movement, particularly the action painting genre, which foregrounds the physical act of painting as an essential part of the finished work. This abstract genre is distinguished by its emphasis on the spontaneous or subconscious creation.

The artwork itself can be described as a complex interplay of colors and lines, evoking a sense of unrestrained dynamism and energy. It features a rich tapestry of dripped and splattered paint, a technique that Pollock pioneered, which defies the traditional methods of brushwork. The various hues of black, white, green, and yellow intersect and overlap across the canvas, creating a visually engaging texture and depth. This abstract piece lacks a clear focal point, leading the viewer’s eye to wander throughout the entangled lines and forms, an intentional effect that invites personal interpretation and emotional response. Pollock’s method, often involving working directly on the ground and dripping paint from above, removes the barrier between the artist and the canvas, thereby putting the focus on the action of painting itself.

The canvas is covered with an intricate web of paint splatters, drips, and strokes, which come together in a chaotic yet harmonious composition. The background is drenched in a mustard-yellow hue, overlaid with black, white, and green splotches and lines that create an allover pattern without a central motif. The palpable sense of motion in the artwork is characteristic of Pollock’s energetic painting approach. This masterpiece reflects Pollock’s innovative technique that would profoundly influence the course of modern art.

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