© Pollock-Krasner Foundation. ARS/Copyright Agency
Jackson Pollock was a patient of the Jungian psychologist Joseph Henderson: a treatment that coincided with the artist’s growing interest in Surrealism, and a concurrence of events that resulted in a creative outpouring. Between 1938 and 1943, Pollock produced numerous pictographic drawings based on striking symbolic motifs, including a cache of 83 drawings provided to Henderson as material for analytical aids.
Works in the collection show a close association with such ‘psychoanalytic drawings’, both in style and subject matter. Untitled c#1933–39 is a dynamic composition depicted through a faceted, vertebral form. An amalgamated figure displays both horse- and bird-like features; a conjoining of two animals or an animal-human entity that occurs frequently in Pollock’s drawings of this period. In Jungian iconography, animals such as snakes, mandalas and shadows are symbolic referents for life forces such as birth, death, power and failure.