Cathedral is a painting by the American abstract expressionist artist, Jackson Pollock. Created in 1947, it measures 71 1/2 x 35 1/16 inches and is comprised of organic shapes created using a linear framework of diluted black paint and various colors. It is one of Pollock’s earliest “drip” paintings, which he created during his “drip painting phase.”
The method used to create Cathedral involves flinging and dripping thinned enamel paint onto an unstretched canvas laid on the floor of his studio. This technique allows for the creation of complex layers that result in a three-dimensional effect. The product of paint dripping off of a paintbrush creates an engaging texture that makes it appear as though the artwork has been sculpted rather than painted.
Cathedral is considered a landmark in the history of abstract expressionism due to its innovative technique that broke away from traditional brushwork. The artwork represents Pollock’s experimentation with gesture, improvisation, and chance. As part of the Dallas Museum of Art’s collection, Cathedral continues to inspire artists around the world with its unconventional style and daring creativity.