Drawing was always an independent medium for Pollock, so his sheets are never studies for paintings. Nevertheless, with its collection of reductive, simply outlined animals and human figures, some of which seem to morph from one into the other, this drawing relates to a number of Pollock’s key paintings from the 1940s, including Stenographic Figure (c. 1942) and The She-Wolf (1943). The vibrantly colored lines that he laid on top impose a pictographic unity on what is otherwise a loose collection of free-associative doodles. Fusing two different layers was a strategy Pollock would continue to develop over the next several years.
Gallery label from Jackson Pollock: A Collection Survey, 1934-1954, November 22, 2015–May 1, 2016.