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An abstract painting of black, tan, gray and gold paint with white highlights.

The paint is thickly applied in layers of thick black lines and patches that swirl and loop across the entire work from top to bottom, patches of light tan paint which have been spattered and dripped across the top, center and lower sections. Gray paint is drizzled across the entire surface with light gray lightly brushed across the top right corner. Gold paint is dropped in a zigzag pattern across the painting. White highlights appear across the entire surface.

Gallery Text

No. 2 exemplifies the mature paintings Pollock produced between 1947 and 1950, when he fully developed his signature “poured” technique. Laying raw, unstretched canvas on the floor of his barn studio on Long Island, Pollock worked from above, dripping, pouring, and flinging paint onto the surface. The compositions of looping, tangled lines, alternately forceful and delicate, express his highly physical creative process and serve as a record of his bodily engagement. Close inspection reveals Pollock’s interest in the properties of paint — its weight and viscosity, the way it bubbles and cracks, pools upon or sinks into the canvas — and the control he was able to maintain, despite the appearance of absolute spontaneity.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Jackson Pollock, American (Cody, WY 1912 - 1956 East Hampton, NY)
No. 2
Work Type
Creation Place: North America, United States
Persistent Link


Level 1, Room 1200, Modern and Contemporary Art, Mid–century Abstraction I
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Physical Descriptions

Mixed media on canvas
279.4 x 91.76 cm (110 x 36 1/8 in.)
framed: 281.94 x 94.62 x 5.08 cm (111 x 37 1/4 x 2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: u.r.: Jackson Pollock


Recorded Ownership History
Lee Krasner, Professor and Mrs. Reginald R. Isaacs, partial gift/partial sale; to Fogg Art Museum, 1965.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Mr. and Mrs. Reginald R. Isaacs and Family and Purchase through the Contemporary Art Fund
© Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

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Publication History

  • [Unidentified article], Fogg Art Museum Acquisitions, 1965, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1965), reproduced p. 104
  • H. Wade White, "Recent Accessions: A Drip Painting by Jackson Pollock", Fogg Art Museum Newsletter, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, April 1966), vol. III, no. 4, ill. p.
  • Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, 1967)
  • Kenyon Castle Bolton, III, Peter G. Huenink, Earl A. Powell III, Harry Z. Rand, and Nanette C. Sexton, American Art at Harvard, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1972), cat. 157, ill.
  • E. A. Carmean, Jr. and Eliza E. Rathbone, American Art at Mid-Century: The Subjects of the Artist, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C, 1978), p. 131, reproduced in b/w, p. 126, no. 2 on checklist
  • Francis Valentine O'Connor and Eugene Victor Thaw, Jackson Pollock: a catalogue raisonné of paintings, drawings, and other works, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 1978), vol. 2, no. 261, ill.
  • Caroline A. Jones, Modern Art at Harvard: The Formation of the Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press, 1985). With an essay by John Coolidge and a preface by John M. Rosenfield. To accompany the inaugural exhibition at the Sackler Museum, Oct 21 1985 - Jan 5 1986, frontispiece
  • Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), p. 204, cat. 234, ill.
  • Christos M. Joachimides and Norman Rosenthal, American Art in the 20th Century: Painting and Sculpture 1913-1993, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts and Zeitgeist-Gesellschaft (London, England and Prestel, 1993), no. 89, reproduced in color; checklist, p. 480; text p. 16
  • Timothy Anglin Burgard, American Art at Harvard: Cultures and Contexts, brochure, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1994), pp. 8, 12, cat. 72
  • James Cuno, Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Ivan Gaskell, and William W. Robinson, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, ed. James Cuno, Harvard University Art Museums and Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), p. 198, ill. p. 199
  • Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997
  • Stephan Wolohojian and Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, ed. Stephan Wolohojian, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, 2008), ill. p. 219
  • Gavin Delahunty, ed., Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots, exh. cat., Tate Publishing (London, 2015), p. 139, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

  • Untitled, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, 12/01/1950 - 02/28/1951
  • 11th Annual Exhibition, The Art Institute of Chicago, 04/11/1951 - 05/06/1951
  • Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 10/12/1967 - 12/03/1967
  • American Art at Harvard, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/19/1972 - 06/18/1972
  • New York School: From the First Generation, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 12/10/1975 - 01/06/1976
  • Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977
  • American Art at Mid-Century: The Subjects of the Artists, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 06/01/1978 - 01/14/1979
  • Modern Art at Harvard, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/21/1985 - 01/05/1986
  • American Art in the Twentieth Century: Painting and Sculpture, Zeitgeist-Gesellschaft, Berlin, 05/08/1993 - 07/25/1993; Royal Academy of Arts, London, 09/17/1993 - 12/12/1993
  • American Art at Harvard: Cultures and Contexts, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/01/1994 - 12/30/1994
  • Re-View: S118 European & American Art since 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 09/13/2008 - 04/09/2011
  • Re-View: European and American Art Since 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 05/03/2011 - 06/01/2013
  • 32Q: 1200 Mid-Century Abstraction I (Painterly Abstraction), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 09/30/2015; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 04/06/2016 - 01/01/2050
  • Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, 11/20/2015 - 03/20/2016

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