Jackson Pollock’s No. 5

Jackson Pollock is considered by many to be one of the leading artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement.  His work could often be considered representative of the entire movement, as it symbolizes the desire to capture the emotional and expressive sides of the artist’s thoughts on a subject rather than a representation of the reality of the event.  Pollock’s use of action painting, made by spontaneous flinging, dribbling, or smearing of paint onto a canvas, helps to capture more of the act of painting itself rather than what the paint is meant to represent.  However, one of Pollock’s paintings seems to stand out more than the others.  Arguably the most famous and, to date, the most expensive painting ever sold in the world, No. 5, 1948 can be seen as a defining example of Abstract Expression.

The painting was made on an 8 foot by 4 foot piece of fiberboard and has thick amounts of brown and yellow paint drizzled onto it.  The layout of the painting gives it a very nest-like appearance, inspiring different emotions in those viewing it.  Generally, though, this is the most well received of Pollock’s work and this painting can usually be identified as a work of Abstract Expressionism.

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