An exhibition of Pollock’s six black and white screenprints from the portfolio published in 1951 and later in 1964 will be combined with 12 of his screenprints in color, many unique, which the artist executed over a decade from approximately 1941 to 1951. The last exhibition of Pollock’s screenprints in New York was organized by the Museum of Modern Art in 1998 at the time of their great Pollock Retrospective.
The Washburn Gallery will publish a catalogue with seven illustrations and excerpts from a Print Quarterly article by Reba and Dave Williams, along with excerpts from Audrey Isselbacher’s text for the Museum of Modern Art, including the passage which follows:
Although the stereotypical image of Pollock is of an artist wildly pouring paint onto huge canvases, the deliberate strategy of these small-scale screenprints is, in fact, consistent with aspects of his working method, generally. His art, while articulating the uncensored unconscious, was not merely the product of spontaneous impulses. What began as uncalculated, automatist execution was often resolved with more measured, multiple revision, a practice evidenced in the works shown here.
The story of these screenprints is a rich one, encompassing crucial aspects of Pollock’s era, biography, and development. Beyond providing visual pleasure, they document his artistic concerns during a pivotal period in his career. In addition, their importance within the context of his printed oeuvre changes our view of his involvement with the screenprint medium. Most importantly, though, their investigation furthers our understanding of the dynamic forces propelling a unique artistic vision.