Number 8, 1949 by Jackson Pollock is a masterpiece from his classical period in 1949. The painting depicts a polymorphous potency in its line and draftsmanship that was influenced by Mexican muralists’ large-scale work. Pollock’s greatness lies in developing radical abstract styles, detaching line from color, and finding new means to describe pictorial space.
To create Number 8, 1949, Pollock poured and splattered paint from cans and sticks over an unstretched canvas on his studio floor. He used house paint to drip, pour, and fling pigment while walking around a large canvas on the floor of his studio barn. This technique created complex layers of overlapping colors that were non-representative of real-world objects or scenes.
When Number 8, 1949 was first exhibited in 1951 at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York City, collectors did not immediately appreciate Pollock’s radical new style. However, over time it has become recognized as one of Pollock’s most influential works due to its innovative techniques which later became foundational for the abstract expressionist movement.