One Number 31, 1950 (1950) by Jackson Pollock

One Number 31, 1950 - Jackson Pollock - 1950

Artwork Information

TitleOne Number 31, 1950
ArtistJackson Pollock
MediumOil and Enamel on Canvas
Dimensions530.8 x 269.5 cm
Art MovementAction painting
Current LocationMuseum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, NY, US

About One Number 31, 1950

“One Number 31, 1950” is a seminal work of abstract expressionism by artist Jackson Pollock, created in the year 1950. This large-scale artwork, an oil and enamel on canvas, is a prime example of Pollock’s distinctive action painting technique. With dimensions of 530.8 cm in width and 269.5 cm in height, the artwork is part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) located in New York City, NY, US. The work embodies the abstract genre and is characterized by its energetic application of paint and the creation of a complex, dynamic composition that defies traditional conventions of form and structure.

The artwork features a dense web of dripped, splattered, and flung paint, which covers the canvas in a seemingly chaotic yet intentional manner. Pollock’s method involved moving around the canvas, which was typically laid flat on the ground, and applying paint from all angles, establishing a physical and emotional engagement with his work that was revolutionary for its time. The result in “One Number 31, 1950” is a rhythmic interplay of line, color, and space that invites viewers to engage with the piece on a purely visceral level.

The colors are predominantly monochromatic—with black, white, and shades of gray dominating—set against a neutral beige background. The high contrast between the light and dark hues creates a sense of depth and movement, drawing the observer’s eye across the expansive canvas. Although abstract and seemingly without subject, the piece is vibrant and full of life, capturing the essence of Pollock’s innovative style which sought to channel the unconscious onto the canvas, making the act of painting itself as important as the finished work.

As a pivotal piece of the action painting movement, “One Number 31, 1950” epitomizes the focus on the dynamic process of creation, where the gesture and movement of the artist are integral to the artwork’s expressive power. The work’s presence at MoMA ensures its accessibility to audiences who can witness firsthand the scale and impact of Pollock’s avant-garde approach to art-making.

Other Artwork from Jackson Pollock

More Action painting Artwork

Scroll to Top