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    JACKSON POLLOCK (1912-1956) – Number 31
    signed and dated ‘Jackson Pollock 49’ (upper left). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $54.2 MILLION

    A powerful example of Jackson Pollock’s celebrated drip paintings – Number 31, 1949 – will lead Christie’s 20th century evening sale in New York on May 12. Made of oil, enamel, aluminum paint and gesso on paper mounted on Masonite the estimate is in excess of $45 million. It has been featured in a number of important exhibitions, including the 1967 Jackson Pollock MoMA retrospective in addition to the 1998 retrospective mounted at MoMA and The Tate. Held in the same private collection for over two decades the work is fresh to market.

    Alex Rotter, Christie’s Chairman of 20th and 21st Century Art, said:  “In the late 1940s, Pollock’s drip paintings categorically redefined how we understand art. This moment saw the art world’s centre of gravity shift for the first time away from the museums and galleries of Paris and into the streets of New York. With his revolutionary new technique, Pollock effectively upended the existing framework of traditional painting practices. True drip paintings were—and still are—the ultimate in mid-century American avant-garde, and are rare to come across in the secondary market. Number 31 is a superb example. It is a fantastic, frenetic combination of rich hues—straight from the paint can.” 

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