This drawing embodies Pollock’s transition from the figurative works of the previous decade to the allover, dripped, and poured compositions that he would begin making only a couple of years later. Two totemic figures face each other, the right one with its leg bent along the bottom of the sheet. By reversing the conventional way of handling figure and ground—the white of the paper is visible inside the outlines of the bodies, while the space between them is blue—Pollock created a shallow space in which the two collapse into a single plane. The calligraphic marks and dimensional splatters further heighten this flatness by drawing attention to the surface of the sheet and imposing an allover linear structure.
Gallery label from Jackson Pollock: A Collection Survey, 1934-1954, November 22, 2015–May 1, 2016.