Collection 1880s–1940s


Mythical Creatures and Radical Abstractions

Spring 2022 - Fall 2022


Jackson Pollock. The She-Wolf. 1943. Oil, gouache, and plaster on canvas, 41 7/8 x 67" (106.4 x 170.2 cm). Purchase, 1944. ©️ 2022 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • MoMA, Floor 5, 523 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

The four artworks in this gallery span 1943 to 1947. They represent the beginning moments of Abstract Expressionism, a term coined by the New Yorker art critic Robert M. Coates in a 1946 review of the work of Hans Hofmann: “[Hofmann] is certainly one of the most uncompromising representatives of what some people call the spatter-and-daub school of painting and I, more politely, have christened abstract Expressionism.”

Abstract Expressionism came to refer to a disparate group of artists working in New York after World War II. Although their stylistic approaches varied greatly, they were united by a belief in abstract art’s potential to communicate profound human values, stories, and emotions.

Organized by Lydia Mullin, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

4 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.

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