“On the floor I am more at ease,” he once wrote. “I feel nearer, more part of the painting since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting.”
During his lifetime Pollock was famously photographed creating these seminal works, known as drip or action paintings. His process and his canvases have been so extensively studied that it would seem there could be nothing else to learn. Yet a 10-month examination and restoration of his “One: Number 31, 1950,” by conservators at the Museum of Modern Art, have produced new insights about how the artist worked. The conservators also revealed a mysterious missing chapter in the painting’s history.