Magic Lantern, 1947
Oil, enamel, and carpet tacks on canvas
108.9 x 55.2 cm (42 7/8 x 21 3/4 inches)
Gift of Mrs. Peggy Guggenheim 54.005
One of the earliest of Pollock’s poured paintings, Magic Lantern reveals his tight control of a technique through which he covered a canvas with looping skeins of color. The free-form automatist drawings of the Surrealists inspired Pollock in his development of a personal language of abstraction. Improvising with gesture and materials, he used a variety of available paints to create the hard, dense surface of this compact image, scattering it with carpet tacks to intensify its physicality. Unlike his later poured paintings, Magic Lantern has an intimate scale that encourages close examination of its construction. It was given to the RISD Museum by Peggy Guggenheim, the legendary American collector who had encouraged Pollock by exhibiting his work in her Art of this Century Gallery in New York during the 1940s.(November 7, 2003 – January 25, 2004)
The fact that good European moderns are now here is very important, for they bring with them an understanding of the problems of modern painting. I am particularly impressed with their concept of the source of art being the unconscious. This idea interests me more than these specific painters do, for the two artists I admire most, Picasso and Miró, are still abroad. (Pollock, in Arts and Architecture [February 1944], p. 14)(November 12, 2004 – March 5, 2005)(February 24 –April 23, 2006)
Edited ByWoolsey, Ann, ed.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 2008
TypeMonographs and CollectionsA Handbook of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design
Edited ByWoodward, Carla M., and Franklin W. Robinson, eds.
Publisher & DateMuseum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1988
TypeMonographs and Collections