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Arts of North America

Art created in North America includes objects made by native cultures of the present-day United States and Canada; paintings and decorative arts produced during colonial times; 18th- and 19th-century masterpieces; and the work of contemporary artists and photographers.

© 2015 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
American, 1912 - 1956
Number 6
Duco and aluminum paint on canvas

44 4/16 x 54 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Gift of D. and J. de Menil

Arts of North America

Number 6 belongs to Jackson Pollock's first triumphant period of dripped-and-poured paintings. Taking the canvas off the easel and laying it on the floor of his studio so that he could work from all four sides, Pollock dripped, poured, and flung enamel paint on the surface, eliminating brushes and literally drawing with the liquid medium.

Revolutionary not only for their technique, these paintings redefined representations of space and the subject of art. Pollock's drip paintings introduced a sense of "all-overness," a lack of compositional focus where any one part of the canvas is just as important or central as any other. The energetic web of color and line the concrete notation of the act of painting became the artist's subject. This active, physical style of painting is now known as Abstract Expressionism, or alternatively, Action Painting. The Abstract Expressionists were a loosely formed group of artists who came of age in post-World War II New York and were concerned with rendering emotive or psychological subject matter in abstract form.