Revisiting Pollock's Mural

Jackson Pollock, Mural, 1943, 97 1/4 x 238 inches (University of Iowa Museum of
Jackson Pollock, Mural, 1943, 97 1/4 x 238 inches (University of Iowa Museum of Art)

Tyler Green revisits a two part interview with Pepe Karmel co-curator of the 1998 MoMA Jackson Pollock Retrospective, about Pollock's monumental, breakthrough painting Mural, which is currently undergoing a well publicized conservation.

In part one Karmel notes that "It's an important painting for Jackson Pollock because it's the moment that announces his future as a painter of large, mural-scale paintings that become environments, and furthermore paintings that are in this distinct, all-over style that changes people's idea of what a painting might be."

In part two Karmel remarks that at the time "I don't think it had the kind of impact the later paintings had. It was a bit of a one-off, after which he went back to making smaller paintings. It probably didn't make that much sense to people. They may have been impressed by it, but by itself it didn’t announce a new style. Aesthetically, looking back, we go, 'Aha, this is it. This is when he gets there, even prematurely, and then goes away from it.' I’m guessing other people, including artists, who saw it didn't understand its implications for some time."