Sea Change, 1947, was created at the beginning of Jackson Pollock's most iconic period: the "drip-period," from 1947 to 1950. The painting was owned by the art dealer and patron Peggy Guggenheim until its donation to SAM in 1958.
Jackson Pollock is perhaps the best known abstract expressionist painter from the 1940s and 1950s. His painterly style was labeled "action painting" in reference to the electric energy and movement contained in his canvases. His life and work were captured in Hans Namuth's classic 1951 film and featured in interviews published in Life (1949) and Time (1956) magazines. In 1942, Pollock was introduced to Peggy Guggenheim, who played a pivotal role in launching his career. Guggenheim offered Pollock a monthly stipend in exchange for works of art that she would own and exhibit in her gallery (his first show there, at Art of This Century, was in 1943). In 1945, Pollock married fellow painter Lee Krasner and moved to a cottage-studio in Springs, Long Island, where this work was created. He painted furiously for over a decade, altering the course of modern art in the process, before dying tragically in a car crash at age 44. His untimely death, coupled with his signature artistic achievement, catapulted him to mythical stardom.
Artist and commercial oil paint, with gravel, on canvas, 57 7/8 x 44 1/8 in. (147 x 112.1 cm), Gift of Signora Peggy Guggenheim, 58.55, © 2007 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Signed: Signed on reverse "47 Jackson Pollock"
Provenance: The artist; to Art of this Century, New York / Collection of Peggy Guggenheim, New York and Venice (in stock of gallery when it closed, sent to Ms. Guggenheim in Venice by Betty Parsons, 1948); gift from Peggy Guggenheim to Seattle Art Museum, 1958