43 paintings you need to see before you die

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In an old barn that Jackson Pollock transformed into a studio, the artist laid his massive canvas on the wooden plank floor. He hurled white, yellow, blue, and black paint with sticks and knives at it. As he finished, he pressed his cigarette butt into the canvas, dripping with color.

This is how Pollock produced "Number 1," a painting that helped define Abstract Expressionism.

"He made everyone aware of the potential of letting paint have its own way and the overall impact of a painting without any configuration," Thomas Crow, Associate Provost for the Arts at New York University, told Business Insider.

These are the must-see paintings from Pollock and other painters who transformed the world of painting, from the prehistoric era to today.

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Jackson Pollock’s "Number 1, 1949" at MOCA in Los Angeles.

This painting reflects Pollock’s signature style: a wild explosion of color.

 

Pablo Picasso’s "Les Demoiselles d’Avignon" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

This early 20th century work abandoned perspective in favor of a 2D, abstract portrait. "Picasso made everybody aware of a new cubist logic of painting, a certain kind of distortions that brought all the painting’s elements forward," Crow says.

Picasso’s "Guernica" at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain.

One of the most moving anti-war paintings in history, this is a response to the 1937 bombing of Guernica, a village in northern Spain.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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