No.5 1948 is a famous oil on fibreboard painting from Jackson Pollock which has been at the centre of a number of high profile private sales.
No. 5 measures an impressive 8ft long by 4ft wide and resides in a private collection in New York. It is typical of Pollock to produce such large scale paintings, particularly during his best known style of drip, abstract art.
Brown paint forms the base for this painting, with several layers of that colour then added to with yellow drizzles through out. The constant layering gives a finished work with volume and allows it to really impress when seeing the original with the naked eye.
Many of Pollock's abstract works are far better when viewed in public, and No.5 is one of those. The detail, textures and mixed media cannot effectively be covered by photography.
This specific painting has drawn much discussion from in the art world and also outside. Mathematicians and Physicians have both studied this artwork in great detail, with many different theories being produced regarding the ideas in the artist's mind at the time that he produced it. This is perhaps surprising considering that some claim most abstract art to be lacking in thought and technical ability.
The drip painting techniques used here were found in Pollock's career from 1947 to 1950, which was a prolific and prominent time in his career. This finish involved a combination of pouring and activity afterwards, with the artist characteristically being bent down over the canvas on the floor, where he tended to feel most comfortable and in tune with his canvas.
You can learn more about the No. 5 painting in this Wikipedia article which also covers more on other elements of the artist's life and career, including his personal struggles and most famous paintings.
Stone Roses were a music band in the UK who helped add further exposure to the work of Pollock through mention of him in their lyrics as well as a famous album cover which was a photograph of a painting produced by one of the band's guitarist, which bears an obvious similarity to the abstract expressionist style of their favourite artist.
Various Stone Roses memorabilia is available that includes this painting and many falsely believe that the photograph is actually of a genuine Pollock painting, rather than an amateur painting strongly inspired by him.
No. 5 achieved one of the highest prices in at history for any painting when sold ay auction in 2006. The media is always excited by such business, but it has little real impact in the real art world, where a higher price does not necessarily make one artwork better than an other. Having said that, Pollock paintings are expected to make great investments over coming years as fewer and fewer of them are available for purchase, with supply shortening due to private purchases of much of the best modern art.
Tom Gurney in an art history expert. He received a BSc (Hons) degree from Salford University, UK, and has also studied famous artists and art movements for over 20 years. Tom has also published a number of books related to art history and continues to contribute to a number of different art websites. You can read more on Tom Gurney here.