about the painting
pollock painting Photograph © 1999, Estate of Hans Namuth

Action Painting, a term coined in 1952 by New York art critic Harold Rosenberg, refers to a gestural method of painting epitomized by the work of Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, and Willem de Kooning. The drips and splatters that characterize action painting reveal the artist's process of creation, which in Rosenberg's view was as important as the finished product. Pollock's style of painting differed markedly from that of the other action painters in that he placed his large canvases on the floor rather than working on an easel. This shift in the physical relationship of the artist to his canvas allowed him to develop a full-body gestural technique incorporating rhythmic movements that resembled dance and a snap-the-whip type wrist action that facilitated his exquisite control of the paint.


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