Number 15, 1948 (Primary Title)

Jackson Pollock, American, 1912 - 1956 (Artist)

Works On Paper
enamel on paper
United States
Unframed: 22 1/4 × 30 1/2 in. (56.52 × 77.47 cm)
Framed: 32 × 40 1/2 in. (81.28 × 102.87 cm)

“When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It is only after a sort of get-acquainted period that I see what I have been about. I have no fears of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through.” —Jackson Pollock

In late 1947, rather than using brushes and an easel, Pollock began pouring and dripping paint onto canvases placed on the floor. This was his artistic breakthrough. For Number 15, 1948, he laid down a black ground. Onto the wet surface, he poured white paint, which feathered and spread into the black. After establishing this rhythmic pattern, Pollock added accents of color in red, yellow, and blue. Number 15, 1948, like all of Pollock’s drip paintings, is full of energy and freedom, qualities that inspired the labels Abstract Expressionism and Action painting.

signed and dated lower left: "Jackson Pollock / 48"
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur S. Brinkley, Jr.
Jackson Pollock, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, October 28, 1998 – February 2, 1999; Tate Gallery, London, March 1 – May 31, 1999

Jackson Pollock: Drip Paintings on Paper, C & M Arts, New York, NY, October 13 – December 11, 1993

Late 20th Century Works on Paper, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, February 18 – May 16, 1993

The Common Wealth, Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts, Roanoke, VA, December 1, 1990 – February 3, 1991

Andrew Wyeth: A Trojan Horse Modernist, The Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC, March 9 – April 15, 1984

Five Years of Collecting, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, March 25 – May 4, 1980

Alumni Collector Exhibition, Princeton University Art Gallery, Princeton, NJ, May 1 – June 15, 1972

St. Paul Gallery, St. Paul, MN, February - March 1949

Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY, January 12 – February 24, 1949
(Betty Parsons Gallery, New York) by 1949. Lynne Thompson, Blue Hill, Maine; Purchased by Arthur S. Brinkley [1925-1988], Richmond, in September of 1952; Gift to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Richmond, Virginia in February of 1978.

©artist or artist’s estate

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.