Jackson Pollock. One 4021

Conservator, James Coddington: Certainly when he was making these paintings, and in years since, people asked then and still ask the question, 'How is it that these paintings, aren't in constant need of restoration?' In fact, they hold together very well.

The paints Pollock used were industrial paints, and they're really quite robust. What he was doing when he was making these works was he was gesturing out across the canvas, which created these long, throws and skeins of paint and the way these layers interact with one another is really very solid. They tend to hold together very well, the canvas itself is unprimed and so the paint will literally catch into the canvas fibers itself, which holds it very well. So overall, one finds the Pollock paintings to be in quite good condition.

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