For sale: 'most important modern American painting ever'?

February 12 2011

Image of For sale: 'most important modern American painting ever'?

Picture: University of Iowa Museum of Art

The University of Iowa is considering selling 'Mural' by Jackson Pollock. Apparently valued at $150 million in 2008, the money would go to fund scholarships. It was given to the University by Peggy Guggenheim in 1951.

The University's website says of the picture; [more below]

Mural is considered by many to be the most important modern American painting ever made. For Mural, Pollock evoked the myriad stylistic techniques and theoretical methodologies to which he had been exposed. He synthesized these elements in the moment and created a painting that is inundated with personal, cultural, social, political, and art-world references: the work of his early mentor Thomas Hart Benton and the Regionalist style; the landscape of the Midwest and Native American imagery and philosophy; commercial art; the Works Progress Association (WPA); Mexican murals, Soviet Social Realism and Marxism; the influence of refugee artists from wartime Europe; Asian calligraphy; African and other non-Western art; film; the explosion of World War II and America's response; Picasso's work, especially Guernica (1937); and Jungian psychotherapy. Pollock harnessed all of these elements, with their diverse strengths, as he experienced them in a frenetic coming-togetherness, acting and reacting within his own bravura-painting performance.

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