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Jackson Pollock: The Graphic Works 2019

A brochure published by the Washburn Gallery for the 2019 exhibition, "Jackson Pollock: The Graphic Works."

A brochure published by the Washburn Gallery for the 2019 exhibition, "Jackson Pollock: The Graphic Works."

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JACKSON POLLOCK<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Graphic</strong> <strong>Works</strong><br />

1<br />

January 17 – March 2, <strong>2019</strong><br />

WASHBURN GALLERY 177 TENTH AVENUE NEW YORK 10011


This precious survey shows how <strong>Pollock</strong> tried his hand, sporadically, at different<br />

kinds of printmaking, presumably motivated by mentors like Thomas<br />

Hart Benton and by the opportunity, never realized, to increase his income.<br />

My few remarks concern the etchings.<br />

<strong>Pollock</strong> did not attempt intaglio printmaking (scratching lines into metal<br />

plates) until the autumn of 1944, when encouraged by his longtime comrade<br />

Reuben Kadish to utilize the famous Atelier 17 displaced by the War, from<br />

Paris to the New School in Greenwich Village. Having worked with many of<br />

<strong>Pollock</strong>’s favorite artists in Paris, including Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miró,<br />

and Pablo Picasso, Stanley William Hayter—the impresario of Atelier 17—<br />

now welcomed fellow refugees like André Masson, Marc Chagall, and Yves<br />

Tanguy. Although <strong>Pollock</strong>’s intaglio prints took inspiration from the graphic<br />

automatism of Joan Miró etchings published by Pierre Matisse Gallery in the<br />

late 1930s, his decision to try intaglio was likely instigated by the exhibition<br />

devoted to Atelier 17 at the Museum of Modern Art from June to October<br />

1944. In 1945, Hayter moved his operation to 46 E. 8th St., across the<br />

street from the apartment shared by <strong>Pollock</strong> and Lee Krasner.<br />

<strong>Pollock</strong>’s life was too busy in late 1944 and 1945 for sustained printmaking:<br />

he had to prepare for his second solo show at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art<br />

of This Century gallery, which helped build his confidence to marry Krasner<br />

in October 1945, and then in November, to re-locate permanently from<br />

Manhattan to Long Island. <strong>The</strong>re, he began to paint on the floor the way<br />

a printmaker works on images, from above. <strong>The</strong> few fruits of <strong>Pollock</strong>’s introduction<br />

to intaglio were a handful of trial proofs pulled from roughly a<br />

dozen plates. Some are utterly simple, stressing an unschooled grasp of representation<br />

in sympathy with prehistoric art, children’s art, or graffiti. Images<br />

of slithering snakes appear throughout his work, as do snaking lines that<br />

refuse to take shape as anything other than themselves. But the majority of<br />

<strong>Pollock</strong>’s etchings are brashly overworked, pulsing throughout with impetuously<br />

etched lines and shadows that simultaneously indicate and obliterate<br />

interacting nude figures, their disjointed, ideographic body parts similar in<br />

graphic vocabulary to the bizarre vestiges of figures in <strong>Pollock</strong>’s paintings,<br />

watercolors, and drawings from these same years. De Kooning’s paintings<br />

from the early 1940s share the sense of grotesquely distorted figures in flux<br />

with an occasional glimpse of something familiar in the chaos, like a matchbook,<br />

or in one of <strong>Pollock</strong>’s largest horizontal etchings, a fork on the ground.


2<br />

<strong>Pollock</strong> worked up a few of his ambitious trial proofs as gifts for friends,<br />

adding washes and accents with watercolor and gouache to the inky visual<br />

excitement of the underlying print images. But he never exhibited or published<br />

any of his intaglio prints. It was Lee Krasner, in 1967, who saw to<br />

that, publishing editions printed by Emiliano Sorini from seven plates. She<br />

realized that these grotesquely lyrical images—made in reverse—supplement<br />

<strong>Pollock</strong>’s works. No matter what medium he used for self-expression<br />

in 1944 and 1945, <strong>Pollock</strong> increasingly began to treat line and texture per<br />

se, as pure graphic energy.<br />

Charles Stuckey, June 2017


3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

6


1. Untitled, 1082 (P19), c. 1944-45, printed 1967<br />

Engraving and drypoint on white Italia paper, ed. 11/50<br />

Sheet: 19 13/16 x 27 ¼ in., Image: 15 ¾ x 23 ¾ in.<br />

2. Untitled, 1078 (P16), c. 1944-45, printed 1967<br />

Engraving and drypoint on white Italia paper, ed. 11/50<br />

Sheet: 19 ¾ x 27 ¼ in., Image: 14 11/16 x 17 7/8 in.<br />

3. Untitled, 1071 (P13), c. 1944, printed 1967<br />

Engraving and drypoint on white Italia paper, ed. 13/50<br />

Sheet: 20 x 13 5/8 in., Image: 11 7/8 x 9 15/16 in.<br />

4. Untitled, 1075 (P15), c. 1944, printed 1967<br />

Engraving and drypoint on white Italia paper, ed. 13/50<br />

Sheet: 20 x 13 5/8 in., Image: 11 5/8 x 8 7/8 in.<br />

5. Untitled, 1081 (P18), c. 1944-45, printed 1967<br />

Engraving and drypoint on white Italia paper, ed. 11/50<br />

Sheet: 21 ¼ x 14 ¼ in., Image: 11 ¾ x 8 ¾ in.<br />

6. Untitled, 1074 (P14), c. 1944, printed 1967<br />

Engraving and drypoint on white Italia paper, ed. 11/50<br />

Sheet: 20 1/6 x 13 13/16 in., Image: 11 7/8 x 10 in.<br />

7. Untitled, 1079 (P17), c. 1944, printed 1967<br />

Engraving and drypoint on white Italia paper<br />

Sheet: 13 5/8 x 19 ¾ in., Image: 8 15/16 x 11 ¾ in.<br />

(Above printed from original plates in 1967 by Emiliano Sorini, authorized<br />

by Lee Krasner <strong>Pollock</strong>)<br />

8. Untitled, CR1094 (after painting Number 19, CR333), 1951<br />

Screenprint, 29 x 23 in., printed 1964<br />

9. Untitled, CR1095 (after painting Number 22, CR344), 1951<br />

Screenprint, 29 x 23 in., printed 1964<br />

10. Untitled, CR1092 (after painting Number 8, CR327), 1951<br />

Screenprint, 23 x 29 in., printed 1964<br />

11. Untitled, CR1093 (after painting Number 9, CR340), 1951<br />

Screenprint, 29 x 23 in., printed 1964<br />

12. Untitled, CR1091 (after painting Number 7, CR324), 1951<br />

Screenprint, 23 x 29 in., printed 1964<br />

13. Untitled, CR1096 (after painting Number 27, CR328), 1951<br />

Screenprint, 23 x 29 in., printed 1964<br />

(Above printed from original screens in 1964 by Bernard Steffen under the supervision<br />

of Sanford McCoy, authorized by Lee Krasner <strong>Pollock</strong>)


8<br />

9


10<br />

11


12<br />

Canary Islands, 1988, acrylic on canvas, 78 x 68 x 6 in.<br />

13<br />

WASHBURN GALLERY 177 TENTH AVENUE NEW YORK 10011<br />

between 20th and 21st Streets<br />

(212) 397-6780 www.washburngallery.com

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