Prints and Drawings
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Artist: Jackson Pollock, American, 1912–1956

Number 14: Gray


Enamel over gesso on paper

57 × 78.5 cm (22 7/16 × 30 7/8 in.)
framed: 75.88 × 96.2 × 4.76 cm (29 7/8 × 37 7/8 × 1 7/8 in.)
Katharine Ordway Collection
Jackson Pollock’s classic poured paintings, made from 1947 to 1950, include several works in enamel on gesso-covered paper, of which Number 14: Gray is a particularly striking example. Pollock dripped the black enamel paint onto the surface while the gesso was still wet so that the paint bled into the chalky white ground, creating a silver-gray halo around the lines and pools of black. Pollock’s pouring method was a breakthrough in his quest to avoid the illusionist space of traditional painting and create a total visual effect. Number 14 epitomizes Pollock’s new working method; the paint literally merges with the ground where enamel and gesso meet. In this period, Pollock strove to free line from the representational image and make it a function of pure movement.
Made in United States
20th century
Works on Paper - Drawings and Watercolors

Betty Parson Gallery


Jim Coddington, “Jackson Pollock’s ‘Number 13A, 1948: Arabesque’,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (1999): 140, fig. 2.

Lesley K. Baier, The Katharine Ordway Collection, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983), 58–60, 103, no. 41.

Lisa Hodermarsky, “Katharine Ordway, Guardian of Nature and of Art,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2002): 86, fig. 8.

Susan Davidson, David Anfam, and Margaret Holben Ellis, No Limits, Just Edges: Jackson Pollock Paintings on Paper, exh. cat. (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2005), 100, no. 55, ill.

Elizabeth Frank, Jackson Pollock, 3 (New York: Abbeville Press, 1983), 74–75, no. 63.

Arthur P. Shimamura, Experiencing Art: In the Brain of the Beholder (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 105, fig. 5.4.

Sequoia Miller and John Stuart Gordon, The Ceramic Presence in Modern Art: Selections from the Linda Leonard Schlenger Collection and the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2015–16), 75, fig. 66.

Bernard Harper Friedman, Jackson Pollock: Energy Made Visible, 1st ed. (New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1972), n.p., fig. 6.

James Prosek and Edith Devaney, James Prosek: Art, Artifact, Artifice, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2020), 43, pl. 22.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.