Art historian Stephen Polcari is the exhibition's curator. He says that Pollock, like the Surrealists, was known to be keenly interested in anything related to the unconscious. He believed the origins of art stemmed from the unconscious.
Polcari explains that during the 1930s and 1940s, the unconscious was considered a thinking process that involved a "primitive" reflex that could still be found in non-western peoples.
"Shamanism in American Indian culture is thought to be closer to the unconscious. It was a very big idea at the time", he says. "If you want to do the unconscious, you do primitive. And so Pollock did a lot of quote, unquote, 'primitive', using Shamanism to address the idea of the unconscious."
Below: "Birth" and an untitled painting in the equine series--by Jackson Pollock.