Thursday, November 29, 2007

Matter Pollocks Update

Forensic scientist James Martin spoke about his research regarding the "Matter Pollocks" at an IFAR-sponsored event last night. Randy Kennedy reports in today's New York Times that Martin said many of the works contain "paints and materials that were not available until after the artist’s death in 1956" and "at least one was painted on a board that was not produced earlier than the late 1970s or early ’80s." Kennedy says "the findings add to a growing body of evidence that the paintings — 32 in all, including some ephemera and works on paper — were made by someone other than Pollock or at least that many were substantially altered after the artist’s death." He also explains why it took so long for Martin's research to see the light of day:

"Mr. Martin was commissioned to examine the paintings in 2005 by their owner, Alex Matter.... Mr. Matter has said he found the paintings ... in 2002 or 2003 in a Long Island storage container that had belonged to his father. Although Mr. Martin ... completed the analysis last fall, he has said he did not release it earlier because Mr. Matter’s lawyer told him he would face a lawsuit if he did so. It is unclear why he chose to go public now. Mr. Matter’s lawyer ... has denied threatening Mr. Martin, but he has said that he did tell Mr. Martin he was not authorized to release the report because Mr. Matter ... did not feel it was complete."