Jackson Pollock. One: Number 31, 1950. 1950. Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 8' 10" × 17' 5 5/8" (269.5 × 530.8 cm). Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection Fund (by exchange). Conservation was made possible by the Bank of America Art Conservation Project. © 2019 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • MoMA, Floor 4, 403 The David Geffen Galleries

In the aftermath of World War II, a host of American artists with greatly varying styles and approaches were united by a belief in the power of abstract art to express personal convictions and profound human values. These artists, the Abstract Expressionists, were the first to push New York City to the forefront of modern art. Many of them sought to make the bodily gestures involved in the painting process visible in the resulting work. Jackson Pollock created all-over compositions by dipping sticks and hardened brushes into paint and moving his body above and around an unstretched canvas spread on the floor, allowing the paint to drip in skeins, splatters, and puddles that traced his movements. Willem de Kooning, on the other hand, maintained references to the surrounding world. He took forms from life—like the human figure—as points of departure for abstraction and experimentation. Hedda Sterne, meanwhile, used spray paint to suggest the motion and speed of the New York highways that captivated her throughout the 1950s.

8 works online


Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].