Number 23 (1948) by Jackson Pollock

Number 23 - Jackson Pollock - 1948

Artwork Information

TitleNumber 23
ArtistJackson Pollock
Dimensions575 x 784 cm
Art MovementAction painting
Current LocationTate Britain, London, UK

About Number 23

“Number 23”, created by artist Jackson Pollock in 1948, is an abstract artwork belonging to the genre of Action painting. This notable piece is crafted using enamel on paper and boasts substantial dimensions, measuring 575 by 784 centimeters. True to the ethos of Action painting, this piece resonates with the dynamic and energetic execution characteristic of the movement. Currently, this seminal work is housed at the Tate Britain in London, United Kingdom, contributing to the rich tapestry of modern art within the institution’s collection.

The artwork presents a complex web of interlacing black and white enamel strokes against a predominantly neutral background. The density and intensity of the lines vary, creating a sense of movement and chaos that is both harmonious and discordant. The intricate overlay of drips, splatters, and sweeping gestures evokes a sense of spontaneity, suggesting a physical engagement between the artist and his medium. Such gestural execution of paint is indicative of Pollock’s innovative technique, where the act of painting itself becomes a performative and existential process.

“Number 23” serves as a visual testament to Pollock’s break from traditional representation, emphasizing the role of the subconscious in the creation of art. The composition defies easy interpretation, inviting viewers to experience the work on an emotional and intuitive level, rather than searching for literal correlations within the entanglement of lines. It is in this lack of figurativeness and embrace of pure abstraction that Pollock’s contribution to the wider context of American abstract expressionism is most profoundly felt.

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