14. Janet Sobel Ukranian Artist

Born in Ukraine in 1893 named Jennie Lechovsky from a Jewish family. Sobel escaped the violence of anti-Semitic policies & arrived in New York with her mother and three siblings in 1908, when she was 15.

Janet Sobel inventor of the “drip” technique most know to be characterised by the work of Jackson Pollock.
She began to experiment by drawing on top of her sons’ paintings. She was untrained so unencumbered by the restraints & training of classical art. She was fearless with nothing to lose.

Sobel created Milky Way (1945) two years before Pollock began experimenting with drip painting (Credit: Scala/MoMa)

Sobel created Milky Way in 1945 two years before Pollock began experimenting with drip painting. Pollock visited one of her exhibitions. He admitted that Sobels’s work “had made an impression on him”.

She lost her influence by following her husband into the suburbs unable to drive.The gallery which supported her closed and she developed an allergy to paints. She had to stop using paints and switched to crayons. End of the “drip” technique.


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