Modern and Contemporary Art

Earth Worms

Earth Worms
  • Jackson Pollock 1912-1956, USA
  • Earth Worms
  • 1946
  • Oil on canvas
  • 97x68cm
  • Gift of Peggy Guggenheim, Venice, through the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, 1954

This is one of several paintings in Jackson Pollock's "Sounds in the Grass" series, whose innovative compositional conception and technique were a breakthrough in the development of American Abstract Expressionism.

Pollock would lay down the canvas on the floor, stand or kneel beside it, circling it as he painted. Short curvilinear paint strokes, mostly applied directly from the tube, are intricately fused together into a dense non-hierarchic texture, an allover composition that has no single focal point or definite way of reading. Such a composition, consisting of an unbroken expanse and an ensuing sense of infinity, is one of the distinguishing marks of Pollock's art.

Despite their abstract character, most of the "Sounds in the Grass" paintings were inspired by motifs from nature – such as the vegetation, animals and insects of the rural area where Pollock lived.

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