Tomorrow the J. Paul Getty Museum will place Jackson Pollock’s great Mural (1943) on view. For the last 20 months the painting has been undergoing conservation at the Getty Conservation Institute. The painting — which measures nearly 20 feet wide by eight feet tall — is in the collection of the University of Iowa Museum of Art.
Mural is the first Pollock painting to embrace what we now consider to be the ‘typical’ scale of abstract expressionism, and the painting in which Pollock to his first and most significant step toward his mature style. In 2011, Pollock scholar Pepe Karmel described it on Modern Art Notes as the painting in which Pollock “announces his future as a painter of large, mural-scale paintings that become environments, and furthermore paintings that are in this distinct, all-over style that changes people’s idea of what a painting might be.”
The Getty Conservation Institute has been conserving the painting since August, 2012. The GIF above shows what the painting looked like before the GCI’s treatments, and what it looks like today.
With Mural returning to public view, our current program features Getty conservator Laura Rivers summing up the project and explaining what she and her colleagues have done to the painting and what they’ve learned from it.
See more images of art discussed on the show.