Jackson Pollock The Flame c. 1934-38

  • Not on view

Fire—its primordial allure, flickering light, and raw energy—was a subject that offered much to Pollock. This image of blazing flames obscuring what appears to be a skeleton in the foreground was likely influenced by the scenes of flames and human sacrifice in José Clemente Orozco's famous mural at Dartmouth College, The Epic of American Civilization (1932-34), which Pollock had visited in 1936. Pollock used vigorous brushstrokes and rhythmic, interlocking forms to create a quasi-abstract, allover composition that anticipates, however crudely, the breakthroughs he would achieve a decade later.

Gallery label from Jackson Pollock: A Collection Survey, 1934-1954, November 22, 2015–May 1, 2016.
Oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard
20 1/2 x 30" (51.1 x 76.2 cm)
Enid A. Haupt Fund
Object number
© 2024 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture

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