Jackson Pollock’s early work Mural is considered to be one of the most important works of American modernism. For the vast mural-sized work, Pollock used an array of stylistic means in both technique and method that had been important throughout his career; he blended these to create a painting full of personal, cultural, social, political, and artistic references. Viewers can perceive allusions to the work of his early mentor, Thomas Hart Benton, as well as to American Regionalism, the pictorial language of North America’s indigenous tribes, Mexican Muralismo, Far Eastern calligraphy, and the work of Picasso, particularly Guernica (1937). Pollock utilized all these aspects and merged them into an amalgam charged with energy, allowing them to interact within his own virtuosic painting performance.
Commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim in 1943 for the entrance hall of her East 61st Street New York residence, the patroness gifted the painting to the University of Iowa Museum of Art in 1959, and it has rarely been seen outside the museum since. Following an 18-month cleaning at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, Mural will be on view at select institutions in Europe, including the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, and the Museo Picasso, Málaga.