Ten years and divergent art styles separated the oldest and youngest of the five Pollock brothers. Both studied under the regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League, in New York City. Charles, in his late 20s, adopted Benton’s American-scene painting before later turning to abstraction. Jackson, in his late teens, was more interested in the symbolic and mythical content of the Mexican artists. He would sign a gallery contract with Peggy Guggenheim and go on to develop the radical “action” technique that made him famous.
Seventy of Charles’s serene, self-effacing Abstract Expressionist paintings and works on paper from 1949 to the 1980s are on display starting today at the Society of the Four Arts, in Palm Beach. Alongside them are pieces that offer a rarely seen side of Jackson: his sole surviving sculpture; one of five surviving notepads—the last still in private hands—with graphics drawn on Japanese airmail paper; and virtually his entire production of prints (monotypes, etchings, and silkscreens), long eclipsed by his monumental Mural—the 8-by-20-foot canvas commissioned by Guggenheim in 1943, which is currently on show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York—as well as his action paintings. A small drip painting from the Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu Collection—the work that arguably spurred the great “season” of Jackson’s drip period, from 1947 to 1950—rounds out the show.