Thursday, March 8, 2007

What's the matter with the Matter Pollocks?

So it turns out that there's another scientific study of the "Matter Pollocks" - only its results have been suppressed by Alex Matter himself. According to Steven Litt, art critic of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"The author of an extensive and hitherto-undisclosed scientific study of a trove of works attributed to Jackson Pollock said Thursday that he is being barred from releasing his findings by the lawyer for the works' owner, filmmaker Alex Matter."

Hmmm. Now are you thinking what I'm thinking? If the results contradicted the recent Harvard study (which found that three of the supposed "Pollocks" weren't Pollocks), you'd imagine Alex Matter would be trumpeting the results to anyone who'd listen . . .

But wait, there's more, according to this scoop from Greg Cook:

"James Martin, a Williams College chemical research scientist who runs the Williamstown firm Orion Analytical, told Litt that he was hired by Matter’s art dealer to examine 23 of the “Pollock” paintings in 2005 with the agreement that he could release his findings when he was done, but now that he’s completed studying the paintings Matter’s lawyer has told him that he is “not authorized to release or disclose any analysis, findings or conclusions concerning the Matter paintings until further notice" . . . Litt carefully notes that Martin doesn’t reveal the specifics of his research, but that Martin emailed him: "I am delighted that colleagues at Harvard and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston are confirming Orion's findings.” This suggests that his results agree with a recently released Harvard study of three of the Matter “Pollocks” that concluded that the paintings include paints not made until after Pollock’s death in 1956. And that the study Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is doing on four of the “Pollocks” is headed toward the same conclusion."

So . . . will the McMullen Museum go ahead with its planned exhibit of the "Matter Pollocks"? Will Geoff Edgers of the Boston Globe stop promoting this "controversy"? (To be fair, Edgers has already started to backpedal.) Stay tuned. . .

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