By the 1940s Art has lost its essential role in society, in fact that role has been struggling on the end of a rope for a some time, probably since the end of the 19th century. It has now been taken over by the culture industry: tv, comic books, magazines, radio, now shape civilisation in a way that Art used to do and it is now superfluous.
Jackson Pollock, an artist at this time, was affected by this. He and Lee Krasner moved out of New York to the countryside. The artist is no longer needed in the city. The ontogical status of the artist has now changed and is now regarded with suspicion (think of Banksy covertly creating his art away from the public eye). He started painting his drip paintings in 1942.
John David Ebert talks about this time in history as being one of the liquidation of forms, when everything is being melted down: gender, job roles, social forms, civilisational forms – the age of liquid modernity. So Pollock is merely reflecting this melting down in his paintings and we can no longer recognise everything. See the Guggenheim mural. Pollock is moving out of modernistic art.
The sense of touch has been stepped up and the sense of sight has been stepped down; this painting was Pollock’s breakthrough