Full Fathom Five (1947) by Jackson Pollock

Full Fathom Five - Jackson Pollock - 1947

Artwork Information

TitleFull Fathom Five
ArtistJackson Pollock
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions50 7/8 x 30 1/8 in (129.2 x 76.5 cm)
Art MovementAction painting
Current LocationThe Museum of Modern Art, New York
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About Full Fathom Five

Full Fathom Five is one of the earliest and most famous “drip” paintings by abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock. Created in 1947, it is known for being one of Pollock’s first masterpieces to use this technique, which involves dripping or splashing paint onto a canvas laid on the ground. The painting’s origins and development of the drip technique are not entirely explained.

This Ab-Ex painting displays detritus such as cigarette butts, coins, and a key. This feature has made it an excellent example of Pollock’s unique style where he detaches line from color, redefines drawing and painting resulting in a radical abstract art that has influenced generations. The painting has both two-dimensional and three-dimensional appeal to viewers due to randomly included nails, matches, coins fetch from his studio.

The artwork itself offers a metaphor for the human mind as there appear to be no easily discernible figures amidst paint that appears to have been spilled all over the canvas. Despite borrowing elements from surrealism like chance placement based on dripping techniques with others guided by determined impulses suggest frantic execution while expressing language only color can create: vibrant shades representing emotions grief blended with grains inducing calmness through an impressionistic alternation between light and dark harmonies make this artwork one of Jackson Pollock‚Äôs highest achievements until now.”

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