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Jackson Pollock’s late work

SOMETIMES THE SMALLEST things create the most arresting aesthetic experiences—an observation resoundingly reconfirmed for me at “No Limits, Just Edges,” the Jackson Pollock works-on-paper exhibition recently on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (and before that at the Guggenheim Foundation’s outposts in Berlin and Venice). As I walked through the show’s expansive last room, my eyes gravitated, almost magnetically, to the lower right-hand corner of an untitled 1951 drawing, where, beneath the slashing arrows and scrawled numerals soaked into the fibers of the absorbent Japanese paper Pollock favored that year, lay one of the artist’s most remarkable, if diminutive, passages: the letters P-o-l-l-o-c-k fashioned out of his trademark drips. I have long had a special interest in post-1950 Pollock, and although I was familiar with this particular work, the crystal-clear logic

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