Which artist is this?
Paul Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956) was an American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. He was widely noticed for his technique of pouring or splashing liquid household paint onto a horizontal surface (‘drip technique’), enabling him to view and paint his canvases from all angles.
It was also called ‘action painting’, since he used the force of his whole body to paint, often in a frenetic dancing style. He obtained this technique after attending an experimental painting workshop in New York in 1936.
Pollock's most famous paintings were made during the "drip period" between 1947 and 1950. He became famous following an August 8, 1949 four-page spread in Life magazine that asked, "Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?" At the peak of his fame, Pollock abruptly abandoned the drip style.
Some critics praised the immediacy and fluency of the creation, while others derided the random effects. In 2016, Pollock's painting titled 'Number 17A' was reported to have fetched US $200 million in a private purchase.
A reclusive and volatile personality, Pollock struggled with alcoholism for most of his life. Pollock died at the age of 44 in an alcohol-related single-car accident when he was driving.
In December 1956, four months after his death, Pollock was given a memorial retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. A larger, more comprehensive exhibition of his work was held there in 1967.