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Jackson Pollock. One: Number 31, 1950. 1950 12

Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 8' 10" x 17' 5 5/8" (269.5 x 530.8 cm). Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection Fund (by exchange). © 2024 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Narrator: This is a painting by the artist Jackson Pollock. Try standing several steps back from the painting. What words come to your mind while you’re looking at it?

Messy? Busy? Drippy? Giant?

Let’s zoom in. Choose one thread of paint and, in the air, use your finger to trace where it goes. Try to follow it as far as you can. Can you keep track of it under all those layers? Or do you get lost in the tangle?

Jackson Pollock came up with a new way to paint. He put a big piece of canvas on the floor and dripped, poured, and flung paint all over it, but sometimes areas of bare canvas peek through.

Pollock listened to jazz music as he moved around the canvas. Some people even think his art looks like the movements of a dance.


Now, make up your own movement or dance inspired by this painting!