Number 7 is part of a small group of paintings in which Pollock reintroduced references to the body in his gestural style of abstract painting. With its irregular ovoid shape consisting of extended drips, flicks, and puddles of paint, the composition suggests an overlarge head at three-quarter view. The shape encroaches on the edges of the canvas, creating a feeling of trapped energy distinct from the expansive and unconstrained effect of Number 28, 1950 (MMA 2006.32.51). Pollock characteristically left signs of the creative process in Number 7: footprints in the upper right corner, evidence that he worked on the painting on the floor and from all directions, and yellow and dark red splatters possibly deposited while he worked on a neighboring canvas.
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Artist:Jackson Pollock (American, Cody, Wyoming 1912–1956 East Hampton, New York)
Medium:Enamel and oil on canvas
Dimensions:53 1/4 x 40 in. (134.9 x 101.6 cm)
Credit Line:Purchase, Emilio Azcarraga Gift, in honor of William S. Lieberman, 1987
Ulf Linde. "Jackson Pollock." Louisiana Revy 4 (September 1963), ill. p. 9.
Kristian Romare. "Att Se Isommar." Sydsvenska Dagbladet (July 24, 1963).
C.H. Waddington. Behind Appearance: A Study of the Relations Between Painting and the Natural Sciences in this Century. Cambridge, Mass., 1969, pl. 89.
Lawrence Alloway. "Pollock's Black Paintings." Arts Magazine 43 (May 1969), p. 42, ill.
Alberto Busignani. Pollock. New York, 1971, fig. 33.
Italo Tomassoni. Pollock. New York, 1978, colorpl. 66.
Francis Valentine O'Connor and Eugene Victor Thaw, ed. Jackson Pollock: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Drawings, and Other Works. Vol. 2, Paintings, 1948–1955. New Haven, 1978, pp. 176–77, no. 354, ill.
Francis V. O'Connor. Jackson Pollock: Black Pourings, 1951–1953. Exh. cat., Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Boston, 1980, p. 21, pl. 6.
Elizabeth Frank. Jackson Pollock. New York, 1983, p. 93, fig. 85 (color), states that this painting moves towards both figuration and abstraction wtih the head emerging from the "blotches, curves, and flecks" being "entirely nonspecific".
William S. Lieberman inJackson Pollock: Opere 1930–1956. Exh. cat., Palazzo Venezia. Rome, 1983, p. 11.
Flavio Caroli inJackson Pollock: Opere 1930–1956. Exh. cat., Palazzo Venezia, Rome. Venice, 1983, p. 96, ill. p. 71 (color).
Eugene Victor Thaw. "The Abstract Expressionists." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 44 (Winter 1986–87), p. 39, fig. 35 (color).
Lisa M. Messinger in "Twentieth Century Art." Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1987–1988. New York, 1988, pp. 64–65, ill., states that this painting is an example of Pollock's return to figurative images while still working in his signature drip style.
Ellen G. Landau. Jackson Pollock. New York, 1989, ill. p. 216.
Lisa Mintz Messinger inJackson Pollock: Zeichnungen. Exh. cat., Württembergischer Kunstverein. Stuttgart, 1990, p. 66, ill.
Ben Heller. Jackson Pollock: Black Enamel Paintings. Exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery. New York, 1990, p. 24, no. 8 (color).
Patrick Negri. "Signs of Being: A Study of the Religious Significance of the Art of Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko." PhD diss., Graduate Theological Union, 1990, p. 184, fig. 34, calls it "Number 7, 1952".
Nan Rosenthal. "The Pollock Sketchbooks: An Introduction." The Jackson Pollock Sketchbooks in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1997, p. 17, fig. 7, states that this work is an example of Pollock's third mature style in which figuration often returns; notes the spots of paints' resemblance to a helmeted head.
Philippe Monsel. Jackson Pollock, 1912–1956. Paris, 1997, colorpl. 39, as "Out of the Web, Number 7," 1949, in the collection of L.S. Pollock.
Michael Kimmelman. Portraits: Talking with Artists at the Met, the Modern, the Louvre and Elsewhere. New York, 1998, p. 201, calls it "No. 7".
Jordan Kantor inJackson Pollock's Blue Poles. Ed. Anthony White. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Australia. Canberra, 2002, p. 41, ill. p. 43 (color).
Marcia Brennan. Modernism's Masculine Subjects: Matisse, the New York School, and Post–Painterly Abstraction. Cambridge, Mass., 2004, pp.121–24, fig. 4.1 (color), cites this painting as an example of the artist's black and white paintings "poised between the veiling and the exposure of its imagery, and thus between abstraction and its potential for figuration".
William Jeffett inPollock to Pop: America's Brush with Dalí. Exh. cat., Salvador Dalí Museum. St. Petersburg, Fla., 2005, p. 61, ill. p. 62 (color).
Chelsea Pierce and Fabian Leyva-Barragan inJackson Pollock: Blind Spots. Ed. Gavin Delahunty. Exh. cat., Tate Liverpool. London, 2015, pp. 148–49, 156, ill. p. 79 (color), calls it "Number 7, 1952".
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