A full 57 years after he died in a drunken car crash, the artist Jackson Pollock’s final work—the authenticity of which was disputed for decades—has been confirmed through next-level crime lab testing, according to the New York Post.
Pollock’s late mistress, Ruth Kligman, claimed the painting known as Red, Black, and Silver was a gift from the artist shortly before he died. However, because Pollock’s wife Lee Krasner ran the group responsible for authenticating his work, Kligman could hardly pipe up about the piece until Krasner was out of the picture. This wasn’t until 1984, when Krasner passed away. (Kligman and Krasner were not exactly on friendly terms.)
Even then, the board of authenticity was full of friends of Krasner, and Kligman struggled to authenticate the painting up until her 2010 death. At a loss, her estate turned to a former NYPD detective named Nicholas Petraco to conduct the investigation on the piece.
As per the Post, Kligman’s estate announced Friday results of forensic testing they say prove Red, Black, and Silver is a definitive Pollock. This includes the presence of polar bear fur in the painting—the artist owned a rug made from the beast—as well as sand of the same characteristics as that surrounding his East Hampton home, where he did much of his painting. Oh, and the artist’s own hair found a place in the painting as well.
A Pollock of similar size sold for $58.3 million at auction in May 2012.
If the veracity of these claims are accepted, then certainly the case of Teri Horton’s yard-sale found Pollock will have to be reexamined, as it was verified by a forensic expert in much the same way as Red, Black, and Silver. However, the establishment never accepted her claims.
[via The New York Post]