Basel - Exhibition

The Figurative Pollock

Kunstmuseum Basel

02 Oct 201622 Jan 2017

“When you’re painting out of your unconscious, figures are bound to emerge,” Jackson Pollock said in a famous conversation with Selden Rodman in 1956. Yet the American painter is actually best known for his abstract drip paintings. Far fewer people are familiar with Pollock’s extensive and significant earlier figurative oeuvre and the figurative paintings that grew out of the dripping period. The grand special exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Basel is the first show anywhere in the world specifically dedicated to this fascinating chapter in art history.

In 1949, a report in Life magazine headlined “Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?” made Pollock a superstar overnight. His large-format nonrepresentational pictures hit the nerve of the time: the United States was championing abstract art as the native idiom of a free and democratic society. By contrast, Pollock’s figurative work received comparatively little attention.

The exhibition presents a representative survey of the evolution of Pollock’s figurative art from the mid-1930s to the 1950s in altogether around one hundred paintings and works on paper. It features major works from private collections as well as eminent pieces on loan from European, Japanese, Australian, and American museums.

  • Jackson Pollock, Stenographic Figure, 1942, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bareiss Fund (Photo: © 2016 Digital Image MoMA, New York/Scala, Florenz).Jackson Pollock, Stenographic Figure, 1942, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bareiss Fund (Photo: © 2016 Digital Image MoMA, New York/Scala, Florenz).
  • Jackson Pollock, The Tea Cup, 1946. Courtesy of Collection Frieder Burda, Baden-BadenJackson Pollock, The Tea Cup, 1946. Courtesy of Collection Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden

Related Artists

Jackson Pollock

Curators

Nina Zimmer

Contacts & Details

OPENING:
tue, wed, fri, sat, sun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm; thu 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

CLOSING DAYS:
mon

ADMISSION:
Ticket; Free every Tue, Wed, Fri, and Sat from 5pm to 6pm and on the first Sunday of every month from 10am to 6pm.

ESTABLISHED:
1661

OWNER/DIRECTOR:
Dr. Josef Helfenstein


T: +41 61 206 6262 M: pressoffice@kunstmuseumbasel.ch W: Kunstmuseum Basel
ADDRESS:
St. Alban-Graben 16 Basel, CH-4051 Switzerland