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Jackson Pollock’s Alchemy

Today there is little serious interest in alchemy. Even more than astrology it seems part of a past that no longer has much to tell us heirs of the Enlightenment. This makes it difficult for us to recognize and do justice to the widespread interest in alchemy in the twentieth century.

Rooted in ancient and hermetic traditions presented under the veil of enigma, allegory and symbol, alchemy is a transformative practice predicated on the belief that Spirit is present in all that is. The goal was to accomplish the Great Work, the realization of Spirit in matter, figured by the transformation of lead into gold. On one level this effort was a proto-chemistry; on another, a psychological quest: as lead is transmuted into gold, so the soul is purified.

These two aspects of alchemy, as psychological change and as transformation of matter, are intimately linked in the painting of Jackson Pollock. I will focus here on one untitled drawing that I shall refer to as Catalogue Raisonnee CR 704 from c. 1943, Pollock’s gift to his first biographer, B. H. Friedman.

Fig. 1. Pollock, Catalogue Raisonnee [hereafter CR] 704 c. 1943.

Its symbolic images and numbers, and, rare in Pollock’s work, sequence of words, provide insight into his art, his turn to abstraction and his quest for meaning. Understanding the import of the drawing takes us to two of C. G. Jung’s texts on alchemy to which Pollock had access.

One image in Pollock’s drawing that strikes the viewer, and I was delighted to see that this image is the logo for the conference, is the tail-biting ouroboric serpent, the winged dragon, as illustrated here in Jung’s Integration of the Personality (1939).

Fig. 2. C. G. Jung, Integration of the Personality, New York, 1939, plate VII.

“The dragon,” Jung explains, “symbolizes the experience, the vision of the alchemist who works in the laboratory and ‘theorizes.’ The dragon as such is a monstrum — a symbol combining the earth principle and the air-principle of the bird.” It stands at the beginning and end of the alchemical work, symbolizing both the prima materia, the mercurial seed, “implicitly the divine and all-creating spirit concealed in matter” and the lapis or gold that the prima materia shall become when subject to the circulatory process that the tail-biter suggests.1 Jung presents the transformative process of alchemy as the major metaphor for the psychological process of “individuation.” The dragon as prima materia is the undifferentiated self, when the forces of unconsciousness dominate those of consciousness; the lapis is the individuated Self, when a harmonious union of unconscious and conscious forces, body and spirit, has been achieved.2

Emotionally needy, Pollock was in Jungian analysis between 1939-43. Despite his assertion in 1956, “I’ve been a Jungian for a long time,” art historians have been reluctant to explore Pollock’s involvement with Jungian thinking, partly because it takes us into the realm of magic and mythmaking.3 Mythmaking in a dangerous form became the province of the Nazis, and Jung after World War II became tainted with Nazism. But in 1943 Pollock was, like his contemporaries Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb, open to mythmaking, especially to the alchemical myth with its promise of psychological integration.4 He could have seen, we now know, this illustration of the alchemical dragon in The Integration of the Personality, a copy of which Lee Krasner brought with her to Pollock’s apartment when she moved in in 1942.5 Fritz Bultman, a friend and fellow painter who was also in Jungian analysis, reports that Pollock understood “the psychological implications of alchemy as growth, also the magic implications of alchemy. Jackson was aware of secret ritual. He was very, very drawn to the world of magic.”6

The appearance of the ancient symbol of the alchemical dragon in this drawing does not mean that Pollock wants to illustrate Jung or the alchemical myth. He wanted to enact it, to live it. On the right of the drawing he writes: “snake/ woman/ life// effort/ reality// total.” Let me focus on the words “snake/woman.” That Pollock had problems with woman, more particularly his mother, is indicated in the lower right in Woman c. 1930-33 which echoes a photograph of his family from 1917 when Jackson was five.

                     

Fig. 3. Pollock, Woman c. 1930-33.                           Fig. 4. The Pollock Family in Chico 1917.

The mother here becomes a force of death, making skeletons of the men in her life, her husband and five boys, Jackson in the photograph was in the extreme lower

right. He was the youngest, spoiled and suffering from the smothering love of his mother. A blue baby, caught in the umbilical cord, he was almost dead at birth. In the drawing of Pollock’s face in the upper right done c. 1941-42, the fear of being caught in the coils of a snake wrapped around his head makes for a terrifying statement of the dragon as prima materia — despite the intimation on the right of feathers hinting at the air-principle of a bird.

Fig. 5 Pollock, CR 620 c. 1941-42.

That Pollock depicts “woman” in CR 704 gazing up at the tail-biting serpent suggests a statement about female nature; she is prima materia, matter concealing an all-creating spirit.

A positive image of woman is evident in a large oil painting done in 1942, Moon Woman, his title.

Fig. 6. Pollock, The Moon Woman 1942.

Here we encounter the second of Jung’s texts on alchemy to which Pollock had access: his 1936 commentary on The Secret of the Golden Flower; A Chinese Book of Life, a book of Chinese mystical alchemy and Taoist yoga. Pollock shows his moon woman in a seated posture, her black head in the upper left of the canvas. She has a dual profile-frontal head in the manner of Picasso’s introverted woman of the late 20s and early 30s. But unlike a Picassoid woman, she has an agitated third eye [arrow] looking at a mass of heavily scumbled yellow, white, green, black, pinky-green paint. Her effort to “see” (she points to yet a fourth eye), is focused on chaotic material. This yields, upon closer inspection, a flower. Its yellow stem rests on a sort of horizontal blue shelf; [arrow] its sunflower-like head is surrounded by yellow and white pigment. Is it the golden flower named in the title of The Secret of the Golden Flower? Dr. Henderson, his Jungian psychotherapist in 1939-40, had shown Pollock the mandalas illustrating this book.7 As Jung explains in his commentary, the materiality of each individual contains a latent spiritual dimension.

The goal is to control the flow of life-forces so that the dark material aspect transforms itself into the light spiritual aspect, thereby creating the “golden flower” or “diamond-body,” a new human being in whom body and spirit are brought into harmonious balance.8

That Pollock was interested in Eastern wisdom and healing, here I point to Pollock’s notation Chinese” in the upper right of CR 704 under the words “thick thin”, is clear in another drawing of this period, CR 584r.

Fig. 7. Pollock, CR 584r, c. 1939-42.

In it he juxtaposes a Buddha head with a [arrow] diamond shape, an evocation of the “diamond-body” as a synthesis of opposites, along a vertical axis above a caduceus-like serpent and below a [arrow] disc-crescent motif. The juxtaposition of sun disc and crescent moon is another traditional symbol for the union of opposites within the Buddha’s “third eye”, marked here by the dot on the forehead. The repetition of this sun-moon motif at a larger scale and in a frantic mode [arrow], to the left of the central vertical axis, opposite the serene Buddha head, suggests the lack of harmony that lets Pollock search for a healing path. But how is Pollock to heal himself?

I return to CR 704 to look at another striking image: the dagger [arrow].

As the female gazes at the uroboric serpent hovering above her head, she bends over backwards and holds a dagger to her side, as though contemplating an act of self-immolation. In the western tradition such an act is, as Jung describes it in Integration of the Personality, the first step in the alchemical process of transformation. By 1939 Jung’s interest had shifted from the Taoist yoga of The Secret of the Golden Flower to western alchemy, which offered him a key to the final formulation of his psychology precisely because it spoke more directly to the dualistic traditions of the West, to the way they so often move from unity to a conflict of opposites, only to return to unity on a higher level.9 The initial undifferentiated unity of the dragon, prima materia, “the hermaphrodite of incipient being,” must be divided to produce “a pair of opposed forces, usually regarded as the male and female principles”. This necessary division is a violent act. Jung is specific: “a sword … divided the egg containing the seed, the sperma or semen mercurii.”10

 That Pollock’s female figure undertakes such an act is evident in Moon Woman Cuts the Circle 1943.

In the upper center of the canvas we see a yellow-bladed dagger. The blade breaks the circular form established by the red figuration to its right and left: a red head with two eyes [arrow] and white feathered headdress in the upper right, a red “crescent arm” swinging upwards in the upper left. Here the hermaphroditic nature of the female manifests itself as she undertakes the act of self-immolation: the moon woman’s red head with the feathered head dress taking on the aura of an American Indian male in ritual regalia, the crescent arm exercising ritual violence. Here I point to Pollock’s notation “Am. Indian,” just below the word “Chinese” in CR 704. He was fascinated with the self-immolation undertaken by the American Indian to become a shaman.11

Now the moon woman dons the ritual feathers. She appears seated on white haunches, her white legs extended to the left. As she wields the dagger with her extended red “crescent arm,” she slashes her chin, gouges her forehead to cut out what was her third eye, which we now see [arrow] connected by a red line to the dagger, and rips at her belly and breasts to release a flow of diamonds outward and upward in a savage caesarean birth. Thus the moon woman rids herself of the third eye of contemplation found in Moon Woman, cuts the circle of the ouroboric serpent, and enacts the first step of releasing a stream of diamonds, sketchily outlined in black as though they have yet to really materialize.

This all seems horribly violent and esoteric. But let’s persist to better understand Pollock’s reformulation of the creative act as predicated on destruction. There was a widespread interest in alchemy among artists in the 1930s and early 40s. Pollock’s old friend Reuben Kadish thus painted a WPA mural for a Chemistry Building in San Francisco entitled A Dissertation on Alchemy 1936 -1937.12

Fig. 8. Reuben Kadish, A Dissertation on Alchemy 1936 -1937, WPA mural, Woods Hall Annex, University of California

Extension/ San Francisco State University.

His approach to alchemy, appropriate to a Chemistry Building, was mostly as a proto-science. In the middle panel he shows the breaking open of the large egg of prima materia to reveal the geometrical forms within: the spiral, the cube, the sphere, the pyramid. To convey the theme of transformation, he uses the mirror symmetry of the tri-part composition. To the upper right is the irregular sphere of inchoate matter; to the upper left the crystal. Below, to the right, is the image of a broken, partial human, accompanied by the alchemical dragon of prima materia; to the left is an image of the now complete and accomplished alchemist, a faceted diamond by his side.

When questioned about the influence of the Surrealists on his work, Pollock remarked: “The only person who really did get through to me was Masson.”13

Andre Masson, La Passion Pour La Nuit, VVV, no. 2-3, March 1943, p. 2.

In La Passion Pour La Nuit, published in VVV, March 1943, one of several alchemical narratives that he explored in the late 30s and early 40s, Masson, using moon and sun imagery, shows the sun, first trapped in the upper left, then below murdered, followed by a lunar, female form. The fourth image in the upper right fuses a headless male and female into an androgyne, while the final image joins a

time-measuring device Rube Goldberg could have invented to a [arrow] headless female plunging a dagger into her chest, juxtaposed with a dark, eclipsed, but now [arrow] spermatic sun, which wriggles with procreative possibilities.14 Here already we meet with elements of Pollock’s The Moon Woman Cuts the Circle: the female as agent in her self sacrifice, her act generating a new birth, in Pollock’s case of diamonds and, we’ll soon come to see, of a masculine principle figured by the sun.

Pollock’s acquaintance with alchemical lore is evident in another drawing from around this time CR 652 (c. 1942) that also contains words.

Fig. 10. Pollock, CR 652 c. 1942.

[arrow] A labyrinthine snake floats above an anthropomorphic flower figure, whose top has been split into two like parts. Beside it the words: “plays [illegible] moon/. [arrow] The rock the fish/ was winged/ and split of/ two as one could/ grow to be and/ was the sun [?].” Pollock first wrote the word “son,” then rewrote it as “sun.”15 The text is an alchemical recipe! The rock refers to the alchemical stone or matter as yet undifferentiated. As we have seen, any number of artists in the thirties and early forties knew the alchemical recipes. But better than any of them Pollock knew how to cook, using what he knew of alchemy to come up with new techniques and approaches to painting and its materials. As his friend Gerome Kamrowski commented, Pollock was “using Jungian imagery as a device” to come up with an original style.16

Having boldly cut into the figure in Moon Woman Cuts the Circle, Pollock pursued the idea of generating form by cutting in the new medium of collage. As artist-alchemist he begins to practice in his studio laboratory an innovative pictorial alchemy that will disrupt the flatness of the late Synthetic Cubist idiom in which he had been working.

Fig. 11. Pollock, Sun Collage, CR 1023, c. 1943.

In what I will refer to as the Sun collage, CR 1023 (c. 1943), the theme of cutting open the figure (note on the left the moon-headed woman[arrow], accosted by a bird, with her one eye floating free [arrow], below [arrow] the conjunction of crescent hands and dagger, and just to the right a humanoid figure cut into by penetrating hands), this theme is made literal by cutting [arrow] a large circular area from the main red-figured design to reveal, not diamonds, but the shape of a sun disc, the black and white spermatic ‘sun’, dominating the upper right hand corner of the composition. Resolving the tension between crescent moon and sun disc so prominent on the left side of the Buddha drawing of c. 1942, Pollock here releases a newly differentiated male principle figured by the sun.

This alchemical narrative elicits a novel formal expression. The area of the sun is actually an independent white sheet that has been pasted below or under the red figured sheet, both of them then pasted onto a larger buff-colored sheet, leaving large borders on the top and righthand sides scribbled with further marginalia. The revelation of the sun, newly independent of the moon woman, is thus made both by the act of cutting out a shape and by the collage process of going down a layer to reveal what is now found literally down under the red-figured ground. Pollock thus opens up new potential in the Late Cubist spatial arena. The question of pictorial depth is reopened, not in Renaissance based illusionistic terms, but in the concrete terms of layering. Cutting the surface opens up an in-out axis within the material arena of the collage, which can be understood as both “below” and “above” the planar surface. Here we arrive at a formal device that Pollock will continue to explore, most notably in his later poured paintings.

Fig. 12. Pollock, Jack’son’ Collage, CR 1024 c. 1943.

In what I will refer to as the Jack’son’ collage Pollock explores the topmost layer of the collage, this time with loose gestural and automatist markings. These might appear simply abstract or chaotic until one notices a lightly drawn profile facing upwards, a yellow neck to the right, and just to its left Pollock’s signature [arrow], in a shaky and inconsistent mirror writing with only the “son” of Jackson Pollock seen in forward script. In terms of the alchemical narrative that Pollock is telling himself, this “son” is another variant of the newly differentiated and released masculine consciousness, the newborn “son” of the moon woman, his automatist energies unleashed but directed. The number 4 refers to the totality sought, and 7 to the stages of transformation in the journey.

Pollock’s wildest displays of painterly automatism occur in three partially poured oil paintings, Composition with Pouring I, II, and III, all 1943.17

Fig. 13. Left: Pollock, Composition with Pouring II, 1943.

Fig. 14. Right: Pollock, Composition with Pouring I, 1943.

Upon the release of masculine consciousness, the conjunctio or union of male and female principles is the next challenge. Alchemical phrases such as the sperma or semen mercurii, that Jung cites, invite the sexualization of the idea of conjunctio of male spirituality and female materiality, as matter is transformed into spirit-matter. The male sexist orientation of this process of transformation is disturbing; but if we give the alchemists of yore and Pollock the benefit of our doubt, we can appreciate the early effort at conjunctio as the initiation of an erotic dialogue that has as its goal the union of opposites. That Pollock thought in these terms is suggested by the fact that he gave Composition with Pouring I on the right to his dear friends Herbert and Mercedes Matter as a wedding present. I will focus here on Composition with Pouring II on the left. The libidinal force of the male’s presence is explicit: a white phallus outlined in red [arrow] is depicted moving towards the lower center of the canvas and transected eye beyond, the ejaculatory triumph of this phallus marked with a passage of poured white paint. But such is the formal interest of this dialogue, that only recently in the Pollock literature has this phallus even been noticed.18

What struck the critics was rather the seemingly abstract animated materiality of this experimental work, what Clement Greenberg would later call “recreated flatness.”19 Curving figurative elements, barely recognizable, seem to

flow on the two-dimensional surface, as the poured colored lines generate the layered materiality of the surface. Through the technique of pouring paint, Pollock begins to use the depth dimension of layering opened up in his collages. Descent generates the beginning of an ascent, the building up of layers from below to above. In the play of opposites Pollock catches the scent of endless transformative possibilities: what is spiritual partakes of the instinctual, and vice versa. Spirit mingles with instinct, male with female. In an altogether original way Pollock’s pouring opens painting to the erotic dimension of the painting process.

The art historian T.J. Clark in addressing Pollock’s turn to abstraction in the poured paintings of 1947 reaffirmed a commonly held perception that “Abstract painting was a way out of the mess.”20 But a close look at the symbolic imagery in the drawing that Pollock gave to his first biographer and the related work suggests rather that Pollock’s passionate use of alchemical lore invited a turn to pouring and an innovative automatist abstraction, even in 1943. The tension between symbol and abstraction still visible in Composition with Pouring II will resolve itself in the total abstraction and harmonies of his mature poured paintings. Here I show you Pollock’s One 1950.

Fig. 15. Pollock, One: Number 31, 1950.

1 C. G. Jung, The Integration of the Personality (New York: Farrar and Rhinehart, 1939), pp. 226-28.

 2 Ibid., pp.189, 266.

3 Francis V. O’Connor and Eugene V. Thaw, eds., Jackson Pollock: A Catalogue Raisonne of Paintings, Drawings, and Other Works, 4 vols. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1978) [henceforth abbreviated as CR], vol. 4, doc. 113, p. 275, from Selden Rodman, Conversations with Artists (New York: Devin-Adair, 1957)

 4 Jung entitled the penultimate chapter of The Integration of the Personality: “The Idea of Redemption in Alchemy.” See also M. Esther Harding, “A Short Review of Dr. Jung’s Article: Redemption Ideas in Alchemy,” Papers of the Analytical Psychology Club of New York I (1938), esp. pp. 4, 11-12. A notation to this review, one of 10 titles appearing on a list in Pollock’s own handwriting dating from c. 1940-41, was found among Pollock’s papers. See Michael Leja, Reframing Abstract Expressionism: Subjectivity and Painting in the 1940’s (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), p. 151.

 5 Krasner, Interview with Barbara Novak, Transcription of an unpublished WGBH-TV Interview, 1979, p. 39, Papers of Lee Krasner Pollock, Archives of American Art.

6 Fritz Bultman, Interviews with author, March 25, 1973, Feb. 1, 1980.

7 The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life, trans. Richard Wilhelm,

commentary by C.G. Jung, (London: 1931; reprinted New York: Causeway Books, 1975). Pollock would have found this book of particular interest as Cary Baynes, the Jungian analyst who through Pollock’s dear friend Helen Marot, referred Pollock to Henderson, was the translator of Wilhelm’s Secret into English. The first illustrations are mandalas of the Golden Flower, luminous, crystalline, “the most splendid of all flowers.” A mandala that Henderson particularly called Pollock’s attention to contains at its center “a flower with a golden star”: plate 4 and p. 138. Henderson also remembers showing Pollock a mandala illustrated in The Secret, pointing out particularly the image of the tail-biting snake, and explaining its significance as “a simple form of mandala which represents integration.” Henderson, quoted in Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, Jackson Pollock: An American Saga (New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1989), p. 333.

 8 Secret, pp. 28-29, 73.

9 See Harold Coward, Jung and Eastern Thought (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1985), pp. 10-11, 16-17.

10 This lore is to be found compressed in two pages in the chapter “A Study in the Process of Individuation” which Pollock studied in 1940 when he made a diagrammatic drawing of Jungian functions (see CR 556 c. 1939-42) and in the pages to either side of the illustrated dragon that makes its way into CR 704 (pp. 46-47, 226-28). Pollock’s absorption of this lore in short textual passages and mediated by images does not contradict the general impression that he was not much of a reader.

 11 On Pollock and shamanism, see Langhorne, “Pollock, Picasso and the Primitive,” Art History, vol. 12, no. 1, 1989, pp. 78-82. To Bultman Pollock often spoke of the American Indian “dream vision,” distinguishing between fasting necessary if one is to become a brave, and the extreme of immolation undertaken to become a shaman. Bultman, Interview with author, Feb. 1, 1980. Bultman remembers that Pollock in

 

Pollock alchemy 21

 

1942-43 “talked about the dream-vision all the time. This is what the Indian in order to be become the brave, several grades of it, he goes out and fasts, some even hung themselves in trees. In order to become a shaman, they would go through immolation, extreme. Dream vision is what everyone had to have who was a brave, because it was the thing that was revealed to you after a certain degree of starvation, fasting, and abstinence. It all has to do with abstinence with Jackson — it’s a ritualistic thing. The periods when he wasn’t drinking, he was very aware of abstaining.” Pollock valued the Indian concept of “discovering one’s own image” and “the nature of the self” through shamanic experience. Bultman, personal communication with Rushing, April 26, 1984, in W. Jackson Rushing, Native American Art and the New York Avant-Garde: A History of Cultural Primitivism (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995), p. 189, and p. 232, n. 116. Tony Smith recalled that Pollock associated blinding with vision. Tony Smith, Interview with author, March 6, 1973.

Such rituals are described in the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of American Ethnology volumes that Pollock had collected in the mid-1930s, and illustrated by Orozco in the Ancient Human Sacrifice panel of the Dartmouth murals which Pollock saw in person in 1936. The Sia ceremony of initiation into the Snake Order is described in Mrs. Stevenson, “The Sia,” Annual Report, Bureau of American Ethnology of Smithsonian Institution, vol. 11, 1889-90, pp. 76-91. James O. Dorsey, “A Study of Siouan Cults,” Annual Report, Bureau of American Ethnology of Smithsonian Institution, vol. 11, 1889-90, contains lengthy and gripping descriptions of vision seeking, sacrifice and self-torture, and the Sun Dance of the Plains Indian Sioux tribe,

  1. 435-37, 450, and pl. XLVI. Bultman remembers that Pollock got his knowledge of the shaman’s dream vision from the Plains Indians. Fritz Bultman, Interview with Author, Feb. 1, 1980.

No doubt the American Museum of Natural History’s installation explaining the sun dance, the vision quest, and shamanism in the Hall of the Plains Indians also fascinated Pollock. See Roy Waldo Miner, ed., Exhibition Halls of the American Museum of Natural History (New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1939), pp. 124-5, and C. Wissler, North American Indians of the Plains, New York, 1934, issued as No. 1 of American Museum of Natural History Handbook Series (rept. New York, 1974), especially pp. 111-12, 121-24.

For discussion of Pollock’s and others’ response to ecstatic Indian culture as neither good or bad, but authentic, see W. Jackson Rushing, Native American Art and the New York Avant-Garde: A History of Cultural Primitivism (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995), p. 191.

12 When Kadish came to New York in the late 1930s, taking over some of his brother Sande’s old role as Jackson’s caretaker, they must also have discussed alchemy. Of interest here is the suggestion of an alchemist’s retort, into which a skeletal figure places a bone, in Pollock’s Panel A, CR 37, c. 1934-38. On Kadish being in New York in Fall 1937, see Naifeh and Smith, p. 310. Both Lawrence Alloway and later have suggested alchemy as a subject in Panel A. See Alloway, Jackson Pollock: Paintings, Drawings, and Watercolors from the Collection of Lee Krasner Pollock (London: Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., exh. cat., June 1961), fig. 8, catalogue notes, and Ellen G. Landau, Jackson Pollock (New York: Abrams, 1989), p. 177.

  • Interview with John Bernard Myers, Naifeh and Smith, p. 417. See also Myers, “Surrealism and New York Painting, 1940-1948: A Reminiscence,” Artforum, April 1977, p. 56.
  • Masson elaborated this detail in somewhat different terms as the major theme of Plate II of Mythology of Being, “Up surges birth–open break” which shows the male head breaking free from the feminine world of nature in a moment of birth amid cosmic swirls and underneath the comet-like flight of the diamond, promise of a heightened awareness of the play and union of opposites.

 See CR, vol. 3, CR 652, “Remarks,” p. 180. With illustrations and accompanying text Jung points out the equation of son and sun as expressions of spirit in the alchemical work. See Jung, plates VIII and IX, and p. 242.

  • Interview with Kamrowski, Naifeh and Smith, p. 865.

 Pollock had started exploring for him the new medium of collage when in he was offered the opportunity of showing in an exhibition of collages to be held in April-May at the most exciting new gallery in New York, Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of this Century Gallery, where superb examples of both Surrealist and abstract art vied for attention. By July he got a contract from Guggenheim and was promised his first one-man show at her gallery in November. Sometime before September he created the poured compositions.

 In Composition with Pouring II Landau sees Pollock’s initials interwoven with two phalluses ejaculating pigment. Ellen Landau, “Mexico and American Modernism: The Case of Jackson Pollock”, in Joan M. Marter, ed., Abstract Expressionism: The International Context, Rutgers University Press, 2007, p. 180.

 Greenberg, “Review of Exhibitions of Jean Dubuffet and Jackson Pollock,” The Nation, February 1, 1947, in The Collected Essays and Criticism 4 vols., ed. John O’Brian (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986), vol. 2, p. 125.

 J. Clark, Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of Modernism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), p. 344. Clark states Pollock’s “attempt to remake them [the “old forms” of Orozco, Picasso etc] ‘out of the unconscious’ had led, as it often did, to amateur theatricals, portentous, overstuffed, and overwrought.”