Blue Poles

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Dr. Reza Kibria :

Editor’s Choice: A Selection of Important Works of Art

This section introduces readers to a selection of great works of art, primarily paintings of the Western World. The works chosen include some personal favourites, others which are well-known or influential in some way and yet others representative of a particular school of art. The impact of a work of art is of course many times greater when the original is seen. If possible readers should try to visit the galleries and museums housing these priceless treasures

“Blue Poles”, Jackson Pollock 1952, enamel and aluminium paint with glass on canvas, 212x489 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra


Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) preferred not to give names to most of his paintings, and Blue Poles was initially known as Number 11, 1952. Pollock became one of the most influential artists of the modern age and Blue Poles one of the greatest works of Abstract Impressionism. When it was bought for U.S. $1.3 million in 1973 (the purchase having to be approved by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam) there was a public outcry in Australia, sparking a debate on the “value” (both intrinsically and in market terms) of abstract art. It is a highly complex work and leaves powerful impressions on viewers’ minds, completely dominating the room in which it is displayed.