Jackson Pollock was born in 1912 in Cody, Wyoming. He attended the Manual Arts School in Los Angeles from 1925 to 1929 and then moved to New York, where he studied painting at the Art Students League under Thomas Hart Benton. In the 1930s he carefully studied the works of the Mexican muralists José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera. From 1938 to 1942 he painted wall paintings for the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration. He had contact with the New York Surrealists and was also acquainted with such artists as Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell. Pollock had his first solo show in 1943 at Peggy Guggenheim’s New York gallery Art of This Century. Shortly afterwards he began making his drip paintings, for which he would pour, splash and drip pigment onto a canvas lying on the floor. He showed these works in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe, and became a central figure in Abstract Expressionism. Pollock fought an alcohol addiction all his life, and went into therapy a number of times. In 1956 he was killed in a car accident in East Hampton, New York.