It’s always intrigung to me when art aficianados and scientists try to validate the authenticity of a piece of artwork. While there are several clues to look for- brush stroke, color variations, paint brands, genres- how can one ever really know for certain what is real and what is copied unless the artist is alive to prove it?
At a recent trip to the Van Gogh Museum in Holland, I witnessed an entire section devoted to the scientific study of Van Gogh’s work, where lab tests and microscopic photographs set out to prove the authenticity of the works in question. I personally think that this kind of study becomes a little absurd. But then again, with some of these paintings, such as the recent sale of a 10 million dollar Pollack by David Geffen–authenticity is crucial.
Next month the McMullen Museum at Boston College with feature a collection of ten miniature drip-painting studies by Jackson Pollock called Pollock Matters. The paintings, discovered wrapped in a towel in a storage room of a moving company in 2005, have come under scrutiny by art critics and collectors, and has not received full support by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the official authenticators of the works of Pollock and his wife Lee Krasner.