“Jackson Pollock”

Data: Jackson Pollock, auction star

We look at “Jack The Dripper”, one of the best-rated painters on the auction scene. New proof of the dominance of American artists on the art market. Shows and hammer blows! Jackson Pollock was born on 28 January 1912 in Cody (Wyoming), the youngest of five siblings. He was affected by the immense landscapes of the American West where Amerindian culture is still visible — he would take part in rituals from a distance in the 1920s. Between 1912 and 1928, the Pollocks moved eight times. The family had trouble making ends meet and alcoholism took a toll. Jackson Pollock didn’t have much success at school either. He didn’t finish secondary school, and was expelled from Manual Arts High School for criticising the teaching methods. Open to Marxist ideas, he appreciated mural art and along with his brothers, discovered the frescoes of José Clemente Orozco at Pomona College (California) in 1930. He enrolled at the Art Students League of New York, where he followed Thomas Hart Benton’s class and met Orozco. During the crisis, Roosevelt’s New Deal instigated the Federal Art Project to offer financial support to artists. As part of this programme, orders for his frescoes multiplied, but Pollock was excluded from the Project because of absenteeism. At the end of 1937, Jackson Pollock went into rehab and started therapy — the first in a long series — before being rehired for the Project until 1942 in its “easel-painting” section. A delicious touch of irony for the man who, as of 1947, would lay canvases on the ground to perfect his famous dripping technique. Jackson Pollock was passionate about Amerindian art, the sand paintings of the Navajos, the Kachinas, the Hopis, and so on. He had the opportunity to fine-tune his knowledge at the “Indian Art of the...

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AXA donates Thomas Hart Benton works to the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has received a big donation from insurance company AXA. In 2012, AXA already gave this museum a fresco by Thomas Hart Benton called America Today. This year, AXA is filling out its donation with all the drawings and studies relating to this fresco, now exhibited along with the latter, in the Met on 5th Avenue. Thomas Hart Benton was a prolific artist who produced a large number of sketches and drawings while he was young, especially from his trip to the United States’ Midwest and West following his father’s death in 1924. AXA’s donation comprises composition studies for five of the fresco’s ten panels, including Deep South and Instruments of Power, which once belonged to Jackson Pollock, one of Benton’s students at the Art Student League. Pollock played an important role in this large mural work, having posed for Benton during the fresco’s...

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Teheran’s Museum of Contemporary Art collection to travel to Berlin then Rome

Cultural officials in Berlin, as revealed by The Art Newspaper, have announced an exhibition of a selection of works from the collection of Teheran’s Museum of Contemporary Art, at the Gemäldegalerie from 4 December to 26 February 2017. As the world’s first city to host this collection, reputed as being one of the richest in Western art, Berlin will be followed up by Rome, scheduled to present the works at the MaXXI. Over 60 major modern works by American and European artists such as Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, will be shown alongside pieces by key Iranian artists from the 20th century like Faramarz Pilaram, Mohsen Vaziri Moghaddam and Behjat Sadr. The Teheran museum is taking advantage of this tour to improve its infrastructure and acquire new pieces – something which it hasn’t done in 40 years. Bear in mind that the museum presented, from March to May this year, an exhibition featuring Belgian star artist Wim...

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$500 million for two Expressionist paintings

Collector Ken Griffin has made two new painting acquisitions for $500 million, thus setting a new record for a private sale. The works in question are two Expressionist paintings by Willem de Kooning — Interchange (1955), purchased for $300 million — and Jackson Pollock — Number 17A (1948) for $200 million. The sum illustrates the trend of private-sale prices rising compared to those at auctions, where the record for a work is held by Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (version « O »), sold for “only” $179.4 million. Ken Griffin is no debutant art collector. Founder of the company Citadel that has turned him into the richest man in Illinois, he is known for his commitment to the art market as a member of several museum boards, such as that of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, or the Chicago Art Institute. In December 2015 Ken Griffin also donated nearly $40 million to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Prior to his last two acquisitions, the Griffin collection was worth an estimated $2.3...

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Experts question the authenticity of a group of works by Jackson Pollock

Questions have been raised about the authenticity of a group of works attributed to Jackson Pollock. Around 30 paintings from the group were privately analysed by Art Access & Research, a UK- based company, in 2010. Six from the group of works were exhibited at the Art Monaco fair in July by the Nevada-based Classic Fine Art. Tests suggests that the CI Pigment Yellow 74p used in 12 of the paintings were not commercially available before the artist’s death in 1956. Reports on each of these 12 works state: “The earliest forms of this class of pigment appeared on the commercial market in 1910 (PY1), with others following in the 1920s (such as PY4-6). However, the date of introduction of PY74 is commonly given in the literature as 1957. This consequently raises a number of issues.” In an email, Classic Fine Art says it believes the works are authentic and that “every indication” supports that belief. The gallery adds that it is carrying out “the highest-quality” tests and authenticity processes to verify them. In the meantime, it says it will not consider any exhibition or “financial involvement in the paintings” until scientific proof is available and the accepted authentication process completed. The fair director, Johnessco Rodriguez, stated that the works were also previously exhibited at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas: “We want to believe that they would not have displayed them if they weren’t sure of the...

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