Pollock's artistic development can be divided into six periods. From his years with Benton to 1938, his work was strongly influenced by the compositional methods and regionalist subject matter of his teacher and consisted mostly of small landscapes and figurative scenes. After his breakdown and hospitalization in 1938 until the time of his first one-man show in 1943, his work was semiabstract and shows the assimilation of motifs from the modern Spanish artists Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró as well as the Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco. Jungian symbolism and Surrealist theory also influenced the works of this period. Paintings such as "Bird," "Male and Female," and "Guardians of the Secret" reflect these influences in their powerful biomorphic forms and seething imagery.

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