Pollock's approach was controversial and revolutionary, making us think about art in ways we never did before. The extreme abstraction of his work challenged preceding artistic beliefs and inspired new generations of artists.
Previous generations of artists had been brought up on the classic European artists of the Renaissance and Baroque eras, but Pollock was instead influenced from an early age by alternative art forms, such as local Native American art and also famous Mexican murals from the likes of Diego Rivera.
Pollock also took in the work of Pablo Picasso at a MoMA exhibition in 1939. It was clear by now that this was an artist who was inspired by the latest modern art and would forge his own path along similar lines rather than simply duplicating the techniques of the more classic artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer, Bouguereau or Turner.
With WWII occupying international attention during the 1940s, it was New York in the US that had the opportunity to focus on art and its artists were able to make groundbreaking progress that remain significant today.
The drip paintings of Pollock were one notable contribution to this, his way of expressing his emotions without formulaic art that he felt had dominated the art world up that point. He was not alone, several other key figures in 20th century had, or would later, forge their own paths, with the likes of Miro and Kandinsky famously declaring war on traditional art.
The principle of pouring emotion into an artist's work can be found with Surrealists like Salvador Dali, as well as impressionists like Edgar Degas and Claude Monet. Whilst originating from similar principles, the resultant paintings of Pollock were of course very different in appearance.
The artist was now starting to achieve public acceptance and whilst this helped to open doors for his career, fame was not something that he especially sought or enjoyed. Sometimes it would set him off stubbornly in a new direction, as if to shake off as mainstream labelling of his work.
Coverage of the drip paintings also aided the development of other abstract artists, with Pollock now seen as a spearhead for many. Artists such as Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko all owed a diet of gratitude to Pollock for their own success.
For a while Jackson Pollock would be trying to strike a balance between becoming ever bolder to satisfy his creative needs, whilst being careful not to cut off the hand that feeds him in the form of sales through gallery exhibitions of his work.
Whilst challenging the American and international art world, the artist would also have to fight against his own demons, in the form of alcoholism.
The new Abstract Expressionists had proven that Americans could genuinely compete with Europeans for influence and media exposure in the battle to form new art movements and, crucially, gain public and academic acceptance for them.