Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pollock, Jackson

Full Fathom Five
Oil on canvas with nails, tacks, buttons, key, coins, cigarettes, matches, etc.
50 7/8 x 30 1/8 inch (129.2 x 76.5 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

"On the floor I am more at ease, I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk around in it, work from the four sides and be literally in the painting."
Paul Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956), American painter, known as Jackson Pollock, was an influential and the commanding figure of the Abstract Expressionist movement.
Instead of using the traditional easel, he affixed his canvas to the floor or the wall and poured and dripped his paint from a can; instead of using brushes he manipulated it with sticks, trowels or knives, sometimes obtaining a heavy impasto by an admixture of sand, broken glass or other foreign matter. This manner of Action painting had in common with Surrealist theories of automatism that it was supposed by artists to result in a direct expression or revelation of the unconscious moods.

Pollock had become a symbol of the new artistic revolt, abstract expressionism, and he enjoyed considerable fame. He had a volatile personality, struggled with alcoholism for most of his life, and he died at the age of 44 in a single-car crash in his Oldsmobile convertible while driving under the influence of alcohol, which  occurred less than a mile from his home. He was buried in Green River Cemetery in Springs with a large boulder marking his grave.

Full Fathom Five is one of the earliest masterpieces of his drip technique. In this painting, the initial impression of a vibrant sea-green hue is relieved on inspection by the variety of shades and inflections which combine to produce an idea of water and of depth.