The Easel

28th November 2023

Drip Painting Was Actually Invented by a Ukrainian Grandmother… Not Jackson Pollock

There are multiple angles to this story. It sets the record straight that the first person to use drip painting was Janet Sobel. Jackson Pollock saw her work and copied it. It acknowledges that the person who comes up with an idea isn’t always the person who best exploits it. What it doesn’t mention is Pollock’s supporting cast, notably his artist wife Lee Krasner, and Clement Greenberg the pre-eminent critic of the day. They helped carry Pollock’s self-doubt, especially when he painted duds. Sobel had no-one.