Totem Lesson 2 (1945) by Jackson Pollock

Totem Lesson 2 - Jackson Pollock - 1945

Artwork Information

TitleTotem Lesson 2
ArtistJackson Pollock
Dimensions182.7 x 152.4 cm
Art MovementAbstract Expressionism
Current LocationNational Gallery of Australia (NGA), Canberra, Australia

About Totem Lesson 2

The artwork titled “Totem Lesson 2” is a creation by the renowned artist Jackson Pollock, completed in the year 1945. This piece is executed in oil on canvas and is a representational work within the Abstract Expressionism movement. The dimensions of the artwork are substantial, measuring 182.7 cm in height and 152.4 cm in width. Despite its abstract qualities, “Totem Lesson 2” is classified under the genre of figurative art. This significant work is housed in the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) located in Canberra, Australia.

In describing the artwork, one is immediately struck by the dynamic and densely packed arrangement of forms and lines. The color palette is dominated by dark hues with intermittent bursts of brighter colors, which create a sense of visual tension and movement. Shapes and lines intermingle in a seemingly chaotic fashion but are, in fact, carefully composed to evoke the Totemic forms the title refers to. Pollock’s signature gestural approach to painting is evident, as the canvas bristles with energy and the suggestion of symbolic forms. The varying thicknesses of paint application and the fluidity of the brushstrokes culminate in an artwork that is both raw and meticulously deliberate—a duality central to the ethos of Abstract Expressionism.

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