Posts Tagged 'Jackson Pollock'

Preserving Pollock: A Conversation about Art Conservation

Jim Coddington at work on Jackson Pollock’s One: Number 31, 1950 in the Conservation Studio at MoMA

Jim Coddington at work on Jackson Pollock’s One: Number 31, 1950 in the Conservation Studio at MoMA

I’ll be talking with Jim Coddington, the Chief Conservator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, this Friday evening, November 20, at 9:00 p.m. about his extensive experience with the work of Jackson Pollock. We’ll be discussing the materials and techniques Pollock used in his paintings, the ways in which those materials have aged and changed over the years, and how conservators approach the preservation challenges that Pollock’s works present.

For a preview of some of the topics that we’ll touch upon, you can have a look at the “Jackson Pollock Conservation Project” blog posts that Jim has been making over the past few years.

MoMA has generously lent Echo: Number 25, 1951 to the Dallas Museum of Art for the Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots exhibition, opening Friday, November 20:

Echo Number 25 1951

Jackson Pollock, Echo: Number 25, 1951, 1951, enamel on canvas, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest and the Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller Fund, © 2015 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Jim carried out technical studies and conservation treatment on Echo, and we will be discussing some of the details of that work during our Late Night conversation. Here is a photo of the reverse of Echo during its treatment, with the stretcher removed, which reveals darkening of the canvas where it had been in direct contact with the wood stretcher support:

Conservation Blog Post

In addition to a behind-the-scenes look at the conservation treatments that Jim has undertaken, we’ll also examine Pollock’s working methods. Jim and his colleagues at MoMA have done pioneering analytical studies of Pollock’s materials and techniques, lending new insight into our understanding of this extraordinary artist’s work. Join us this Friday at the DMA!

Pollock in Studio


Mark Leonard is the Chief Conservator at the DMA.

A Pollock Comes Home

You may have heard about an exhibition that we are just a little bit excited about here at the DMA. Since we cannot wait for you to experience Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots, which opens this Friday during Late Night, we thought we would share the homecoming of the DMA’s Portrait and a Dream, which was recently installed inside the exhibition. Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots will be on view November 20, 2015, through March 20, 2016.

Kimberly Daniell is the Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at the DMA.

Black and White: Pollock’s Breakthrough Paintings

Artifacts, the DMA Member magazine,  invited Jackson Pollock’s nephew Jason McCoy to share his thoughts on his uncle’s work on the eve of the DMA’s exclusive presentation of Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots, which opens on Friday, November 20. We hope you are as delighted by his article as we were to publish it.

Breakthrough: Pollock’s Black Paintings
By Jason McCoy
Original publish date: Artifacts Fall 2015

Jackson Pollock, n.d. Photograph by Hans Namuth, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate

Jackson Pollock, n.d.
Photograph by Hans Namuth, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate

When DMA curator Gavin Delahunty first talked to me about his dream of organizing an exhibition of Jackson Pollock’s so-called Black and White paintings, I was of course intrigued but thought to myself “good luck.” It is notoriously difficult to organize any Pollock show, and I knew the paintings were scattered all over the world. But the good luck seems now to be ours—Gavin has pulled it all off and we have been given the great good fortune to be able to view the largest assemblage of these works together, ever. Jackson Pollock is one of the most recognizable names in modern art, but we generally associate the name not with a single image of a specific painting but rather with the idea of paintings that consist of masses of fine lines, skeined across the picture’s surface in seeming confusion.

I appreciate that the Blind Spots exhibition will present an additional view of Pollock’s oeuvre, the paintings that followed the so-called pourings. These paintings were yet another breakthrough for Jackson Pollock, because here he was able to convey the certainty and discipline of works that, for the most part, were made in one session. There is a clarity to the paintings, a minimalism and a simplicity that make it all look so easy and pre-ordained. Not so, of course, but what is revealed is a master’s ability to get it right the first time, and so let the paintings stand for themselves. They are a powerful, fascinating lot, crowned with one of my personal favorite paintings of all, Portrait and a Dream, a longtime resident of Dallas.

Blind Spots will enable all of us to reevaluate the breadth and depth of Pollock’s accomplishments. It will illuminate that there was most often a figurative element in all of Pollock’s paintings, as images of man or beast are easy to recognize in Pollock’s first gestures on the plane. We can recall a comment he made to this effect, that in these paintings the “figure is coming through.” Such recognizable forms in fact caused consternation with certain modernist critics at the time, who did not care to acknowledge less than fully abstract painting as being modern.

Blind Spots will also include examples of Pollock’s interest in scale. In 1951, with the help of his brother, Sanford McCoy, he chose six paintings not at all similar in size to be used in a suite of serigraphs, a selection of which are exhibited in this exhibition. With a computer today, this type of curiosity might seem obvious, but this was not the case sixty-five years ago.

Had Pollock stopped after his “drip paintings” of the late 1940s he would certainly still have his place in history. Rather, his creative drive was such that it continued to evolve in unexpected ways and cover new ground, as Blind Spots reveals, accentuating that Pollock’s gift was much more than one-dimensional.

Untitled, n.d., Photograph by Hans Namuth, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate

Untitled, n.d., Photograph by Hans Namuth, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona
© 1991 Hans Namuth Estate

–Jason McCoy is President of Jason McCoy Gallery in New York.

For more stories like the one above, all of which were created exclusively for Artifacts, visit

(image: Jackson Pollock, Portrait and a Dream, 1953, oil and enamel on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated © 2015 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

The Museum is History

This weekend, explore works from the Museum’s modern and contemporary collection in a new installation by the DMA’s new Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Gavin Delahunty. The Museum Is History: Modern and Contemporary Art from 1950-1990 installation, featuring work by Jackson Pollock, Atsuko Tanaka, John Chamberlain, and more, will be on view through November and it is included in the DMA’s free general admission.






















































































Pet Parade: Strutting the Catwalk — and the Canvas

Did you know January 14 is national Dress Up Your Pet Day? Yeah, we didn’t either. Here at the DMA, we not only love our art, but we also love our animals. We couldn’t resist combining some of our favorite works from our permanent collection with some of our favorite pet pals.

We promise that no animals were harmed in creating these photos. Well, maybe just a few pet egos.

Drouth Striken_Ruby

DMA Staffer: Danielle Schulz, Teaching Specialist
DMA Pet: Ruby, Lab/Collie mix, age 2
Portrait Inspiration: Alexandre Hogue, Drouth Stricken Area, 1934
I wanted to transport Hogue’s characteristic desert-like scene to my tiny apartment, and lucky for me, I was able to find an eager canine ready to put on a cow costume and thirstily explore a bathtub water tank. This work will soon be on view in the upcoming exhibition Alexandre Hogue: The Erosion Series.

DMA Staffer: Amanda Blake, Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences
DMA Pet: George Costanza, West Highland White Terrier, age 7
Portrait Inspiration: Rembrandt Peale, George Washington, c. 1850
Like George Washington, George the Westie is courageous and fearless in the face of danger. He is an alpha dog and has been known to keep much larger dogs in line. Plus, I thought that he would look very handsome in a colonial costume.
(Editor’s note: This is George as himself, no airbrushing or Photoshop for him!)

Breton Women _Shelby and Artie
DMA Staffer: Andrea Severin Goins, Interpretation Specialist
DMA Pets: (from left to right) Shelby, Golden Retriever, age 6, and Artemisia Gentileschi (“Artie”), Malshi/Maltese/Shih Tzu Hybrid, age 4
Portrait Inspiration: Emile Bernard, Breton Women Attending a Pardon, 1892
Artemisia and Shelby love the outdoors; in particular Artie likes to sunbathe and Shelby loves to people watch while enjoying a nice breeze. They like Bernard’s painting because it looks like a place they would like to visit: a lush field, rich with bright hues, and filled with nice ladies who might pet them.

White Relief _Ajax
DMA Staffer: Chad Redmon, Assistant Photographer
DMA Pet: Ajax, White Alsatian, age 3
Portrait Inspiration: Ben Nicholson, 1936 (white relief), 1936
I’ve admired Ben Nicholson’s White Relief long before I was even an employee here at the DMA. I respond to minimal and reductive aesthetic strategies and this one is a stellar example of such. When I found Ajax asleep in my chair, viewed from that overhead perspective, my mind went immediately to the work by Nicholson. Quick iPhone shot and some simple Photoshopping and there it is.

Icebergs_Ella Gurdy Tanaka
DMA Staffer: Doug Landrith, Gallery Attendant
DMA Pets: (from left to right) Ella, Leopard Tortoise, age 5; Gurdy, Sulcata Tortoise, age 6; Tanaka, Red Foot Tortoise, age 7
Portrait Inspiration: Frederic Church, The Icebergs, 1861
Tortoises look like monumental rock formations anyway, so The Icebergs seemed like a perfect fit. It was honestly more entertaining having them roam around the yard with their ice hats on running into things.

DMA Staffer:
Kimberly Daniell, Manager of Communications and Public Affairs
DMA Pet: Chloe (she is actually my roommate’s dog. I dog-napped her for the photo shoot), West Highland Terrier, age 8
Portrait Inspiration: John Singer Sargent, Dorothy, 1900
Dorothy is one of my favorite works in the collection. Chloe is sassy and has an attitude and I envision Dorothy was the same way. A white ensemble did not show up well on her fur, so she went for a more brooding Dorothy look.

mythical animals _Fidel Nene
DMA Staffer:
Jessica Fuentes, Gallery Coordinator for the Center for Creative Connections
DMA Pets: (from left to right) Fidel, Short Haired Chihuahua, age 3, and Nene, Long Haired Chihuahua, age 4.5
Portrait Inspiration: Pair of mythical animals (asos), 19th century
It’s only within the last six months or so that I have become familiar with the pair of mythical animals, as it is a piece that C3 focuses on for our Indonesian Gallery Pop-Up Art Spot. I love how these creatures are clearly dog-like and are a protective symbol. When thinking about which work of art I would pick for my dogs to re-enact, I immediately thought of this one. My pair of Chihuahuas may not be as graceful or intimidating as these mythical animals, but they are a source of comfort to me and my daughter. Clearly they do not realize how small they are, because they jump up, bark and chase after any foreign sound they hear. (In order to get them to sit up and pose like this, I had to enlist the help of my daughter… she is out of the frame, standing on a chair, holding a treat and telling them to “sit” and “stay.”)

Woman in a Blue Turban_Ollie
DMA Staffer: Queta Moore Watson, Senior Editor
DMA Pet: Ollie, Tuxedo Cat (Domestic Medium Hair), age 5
Portrait Inspiration: Eugène Delacroix, Portrait of a Woman in a Blue Turban, c. 1827
I chose this work because my cat Ollie shares with Eugène Delacroix’s subject a pensive expression and soulful eyes. Delacroix had a penchant for representing exotic women from foreign lands. While Ollie is a Domestic Medium Hair rather than an exotic breed, he does mirror the subject’s enigmatic gaze. Is he pondering the future? Remembering the past? Perhaps he is thinking, “I’m a cat. Why am I wearing a turban?”

DMA Staffer: Reagan Duplisea, Associate Registrar, Exhibitions
DMA Pet: Mosey, Florida Brown Dog, age 9
Portrait Inspiration: Sacco chair, Piero Gatti, Cesare Paolini, Franco Teodoro, Zanotta, designed 1968-1969
A dear friend of mine once called Mosey “a little dumpling,” and even though she is really all muscle, the nickname stuck. She always sits sideways, directly on her rear end, and her “dumpling” shape reminds me of the red beanbag chair currently on view in the exhibition Form/Unformed: Design from 1960 to the Present.

DMA Staffer:
Catherine Cody, Special Events and Volunteer Relations Manager
DMA Pet: Jane, Mutt, age 1
Portrait Inspiration: Jackson Pollock, Cathedral, 1947
Pollock is one of my favorite painters, particularly in the way he suggests “energy made visible”. My dog Jane is the definition of visible energy, and her life often looks like a Pollock painting. She ate the string I bought to design our interpretation of Cathedral, so we improvised with some of her toys. I think Pollock would approve.

peaceable kingdon_suzl
DMA Staffer
: Anne Bromberg, The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art
DMA Pet: Miss Suzl, Maine Coon cat, age 4
Portrait Inspiration: Edward Hicks, The Peaceable Kingdom, c. 1846-1847
I thought Miss Suzl would be interested in the painting and probably recognize her big relations in it. I envision Miss Suzl’s comments on this painting are either “SOMETIMES I’m peaceable, but don’t count on it” or “wanting to lie down with a lamb instead of eating its nuts.”

boy in short pants_Sabby
DMA Staffer
: Mandy Engleman, Director of Creative Services
DMA Pet: Sabrina, Bassador (Basset Hound/Yellow Lab), age 5.5
Portrait Inspiration: Amedeo Modigliani, Boy in Short Pants, 1918
Ever since I adopted Sabby, I’ve seen the similarities in her proportions to that of a Modigliani work. She has a short, long stocky body with an abnormally long neck and a smallish head. When attempting a photo shoot, however, she was not in the mood to show off that long neck. So instead you’ll see her similarity to Boy in Short Pants through her piercing eyes and elongated face. You may also see that she wanted to add a twist of Warhol—which is where her true personality lies.

Visit the DMA’s collection galleries, included in free general admission, to find inspiration for your pet’s high fashion and share your photos #DMApets!

Images: Alexandre Hogue, Drouth Stricken Area, 1934, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, (c) Olivia Hogue Marino & Amalia Marino; Rembrandt Peale, George Washington, c. 1850, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation; Emile Bernard, Breton Women Attending a Pardon, 1892, oil on cardboard, Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Museum League Fund; Ben Nicholson, 1936 (white relief), 1936, oil on carved board, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London; Frederic Edwin Church, The Icebergs, 1861, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Norma and Lamar Hunt; John Singer Sargent, Dorothy, 1900, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Leland Fikes Foundation, Inc.; Pair of mythical animals (asos), Malaysia, Sarawak, middle Rajang River region, Greater Sunda Islands, Kayan people, 19th century, wood, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund and the Museum League Purchase Fund; Eugène Delacroix, Portrait of a Woman in a Blue Turban, c. 1827, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., in honor of Patricia McBride; Sacco, Piero Gatti, Cesare Paolini, and Franco Teodoro, designers; Zanotta, maker, designed 1968-1969, vinyl and polystyrene, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Zanotta; Jackson Pollock, Cathedral, 1947, enamel and aluminum paint on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis, © Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Edward Hicks, The Peaceable Kingdom, c. 1846-1847, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Museum League Fund; Amedeo Modigliani, Boy in Short Pants, c. 1918, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Leland Fikes Foundation, Inc.

Catherine Cody is special events and volunteer relations manager and Kimberly Daniell is the communications and public affairs manager at the DMA.

Work vs Play on Labor Day

We hope your Labor Day is less like this Jackson Pollock lithograph . . .

Jackson Pollock, Hayride, 1935-1936, lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Arthur Kramer, Sr.

Jackson Pollock, Hayride, 1935-1936, lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Arthur Kramer, Sr., (c) Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

and more like this Lynn Lennon photograph.

Lynn Lennon, Beach Party, Dallas City Hall, 1984, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Homer B. Jester Fund

Lynn Lennon, Beach Party, Dallas City Hall, 1984, gelatin silver print, Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Homer B. Jester Fund, (c) 1984 Lynn Lennon

The DMA is closed today, but you can enjoy free general admission every day during Museum hours (Tuesday-Sunday 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Thursday 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; third Fridays 11:00 a.m.-midnight).

Boogie-Woogie April – Jazz Appreciation Month

April celebrates one of the most joyous and “most American” music styles—jazz. In fact, jazz is such an important part of American culture that a whole decade in American history, the 1920s, has come to be known as the Jazz Age. In the DMA spaces, you can find connections between the visual arts and jazz every week on Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. during Jazz in the Atrium.

In our newest exhibition, Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties, you can see the work of jazz admirer and Harlem Renaissance leader Aaron Douglas. In Charleston (which references Paul Morand’s novel Black Magic), Douglas depicts the jazz scene set within the African community, in which the genre has part of its roots. Commenting on a later work, Douglas equated the figures in the painting with different types of music, describing the saxophone player as a representation of jazz and “Songs of Joy and the Dance.”

Aaron Douglas, "Charleston," c. 1928, gouache and pencil on paper board, North Carolina Museum of Art

Douglas’s contemporary and fellow jazz enthusiast Stuart Davis is featured in the American galleries with a work that, although subtly, also reveals the rhythms of the Jazz Age. Not only do the bold colors and forms of Electric Blub reflect the energy of the time, but the subject speaks to the modernism and industrialization of 1920s America.

Stuart Davis, "Electric Bulb," 1924, oil on board, Dallas Museum of Art, Fine Arts Collectible Fund, 1988.59, © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Nearby, a stunning portrait sculpture of the jazz musician Huddy “Leadbelly” Ledbetter serves as an appropriate transition in our jazz-inspired tour between Davis’s painting and William Waldo Dodge’s Skyscraper cocktail shaker with cups. Developing rapidly in the 1920s, the skyscraper became, together with jazz, a symbol of a free, modern America, inspiring designers across the country.

Michael G. Owen, Jr., "Leadbelly," 1943, black serpentine, Dallas Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Gooch Fund Purchase Prize, Twelfth Annual Texas Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1951, 1950.91

William Waldo Dodge, Jr., “Skyscraper” cocktail shaker with cups, c. 1928-1931, silver, Dallas Museum of Art, The Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange, 2008.48.1-12

But if the connections we’ve made so far are too obvious or the works too representational for your taste, don’t worry; make your way toLevel 3, where you will find works by abstract artists and jazz lovers Jackson Pollock and Piet Mondrian.

With improvisation being a key feature of jazz music, some argue that the process in this genre is at least as important as (perhaps more than) the end result. The same can be said of Pollock’s and Mondrian’s work. Pollock moving around his canvas as he pours the paint can be compared to a jazz musician improvising during a performance; both represent similar artistic expressions and ultimate celebrations of their respective arts.

Jackson Pollock, Cathedral, 1947, enamel and aluminum paint on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis, 1950.87 © Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Piet Mondrian, "Place de la Concorde," 1938-1943, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation, 1982.22.FA © 2012 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International Washington DC

A big fan of boogie-woogie and a seeker of balance and equilibrium, Mondrian used his intuition to place and arrange the lines in works such as Place de la Concorde—much like a jazz musician would intuitively improvise on his instrument. In fact, Mondrian identified with jazz and boogie-woogie so much that he once said:

“True boogie woogie I conceive as homogeneous in intention with mine in painting: destruction of melody, which is the equivalent of destruction of natural appearance, and construction through the continuous opposition of pure means—dynamic rhythm.”

As you can see, jazz can be a treat not only for your ears but also for your eyes! So come celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month any (or every) Thursday night in April at the DMA!

Vivian Barclay is the McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern for Decorative Arts and Design at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Mary Jordan is the McDermott Education Intern for Family Experiences and Access Programs at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,239 other followers

Twitter Updates

Flickr Photo Stream

More Photos

Join Us on Facebook


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,239 other followers