The Legend of Jackson Pollock’s Peggy Guggenheim ‘All-Nighter’

Jackson Pollock, Mural (1943)
Jackson Pollock, Mural (1943), Photo: Scott S. Warren, copyright J. Paul Getty Trust, courtesy University of Iowa Museum of Art, Gift of Peggy Guggenheim, 1959.

Mural (1943), Jackson Pollock‘s first commission from Peggy Guggenheim, has long been rumored to have been painted in one night. After 18 months of studying and restoring the work, a team of conservators at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, have concluded that the artist completed much, if not all, of the initial under-painting and composition in a single session. However, additional layers of paint were added over a longer period of several days or even weeks. Their findings also indicate that Mural does not feature Pollock’s signature technique of dripping paint on a piece as it lay on the floor.

The newly-conserved painting and details from the Getty Conservation Institute’s research on the seminal piece will be on view at the museum March 11–June 1.


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