Jackson Pollok: Analytical Methods

An absolutely fascinating scholarly study of the chemistry in Jackson Pollok’s large drip painting, “Lavender Mist” lavernder-mist
which is featured in the book “Abstract Painting: Concepts and Techniques”.


The study, “Standoff chemical imaging finds evidence for Jackson Pollock’s selective use of alkyd and oil binding media in a famous ‘drip’ painting“, relates

To determine where he used alkyd and oil paints in Lavender Mist, we utilized near infrared spectral regions …
The mapping results show oil binding medium was confined to the uppermost layers of the painting, corresponding with long, more-or-less straight, white skeins of paint. An alkyd binding medium maps to long white skeins of paint (both straight and curved), in addition to many irregular-shaped, disconnected regions of white and blue-green paint, indicating the mapped alkyd paint is below other layers.  …

the use of oil and alkyd paints seem to be intentional choices by Pollock: the oil because it has more body, and the alkyd because it is more fluid and dries more quickly.