Jackson Pollock & Tony Smith

June 4, 2021 – 2023

By summer of 1956, Jackson Pollock had been struggling with the direction of his painting practice for several years. His close friend, the architect and designer Tony Smith originally aspired to be a painter. But on a July afternoon, the two artists worked side by side in Smith’s backyard in New Jersey making sculpture. Smith would soon turn to sculpture as his main medium and became known for it by the early 1960s. Sculpture sparked Pollock’s initial interest in art, and this sculpture would be his last work before his fatal car crash. The two sculptures on view are on long-term loan from the Tony Smith Estate.

Jackson Pollock and Tony Smith at the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York

Jackson Pollock and Tony Smith at the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York. Detail of Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock and Tony Smith, 1951. Photograph by Hans Namuth. ©1991 Hans Namuth Estate, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography

Sustaining support for the Wadsworth Atheneum provided by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign with support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts.