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Horizontal Composition

Horizontal Composition

American, 1912–1956

Horizontal Composition

Oil and enamel on canvas mounted on composition board

25.4 x 309.6 cm

Gift of Sylvia and Joseph Slifka, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum

© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Accession number:

B03.0826

Arts/Modern Art

Jackson Pollock, a leading exponent of Abstract Expressionism, is best known for his "drip" or "action" paintings of 1947-1951. To produce these works, Pollock spread large canvases on the floor of his barn studio and used brushes, sticks, and even turkey-basters to pour, fling, and drip the paint onto the surface. This technique, which evolved from Surrealist automatic drawing, results in a borderless composition of interpenetrating lines; a space in which there is no differentation between top and bottom, inside and out.

Horizontal Composition, an extremely elongated painting, apparently cut from a larger composition, seems to extend into infinite space. Three colors are poured onto a rust-colored background, forming a finely entangled web. Blue and black swirls interwine and bleed into one another, and are delicately threaded with a white enamel overlay. The careful distribution of light and dark conveys a sense of depth and vitality.

From the Israel Museum publications:

Kamien-Kazhdan, Adina, Surrealism and Beyond in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2007

Kamien-Kazhdan, Adina (ed.), Modernism in Dialogue: 20th-Century Painting and Sculpture in the Israel Museum, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2010

Exhibitions:

Dada Surrealism and Beyond in the Israel Museum, 2007

Surrealism and Beyond in the Israel Museum, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 27/02/2007 - 14/08/2007

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by:
Ms. Joan Lessing, New York and Jerusalem