Geoff Edgers has the latest on the 32 "Pollocks" found by Alex Matters and their upcoming display at Boston College's McMullen Museum of Art. Everyone knows about the tumult these paintings have already caused, but it sounds like BC is trying to do things right here:
[McMullen director Nancy] Netzer says the revamped "Pollock Matters" exhibition will, like the earlier show, be curated by Landau. But the exhibition is different. Instead of centering on the 25 Matter paintings, the show will feature 100 in total. Many won't be Pollocks, and that's the point. The new exhibition is meant to explore the relationship of Pollock, his wife, Lee Krasner, and the Matters. Herbert Matter's photography will be featured, as will the paintings of his wife, Mercedes.
And the concluding quote:
"The show's going to open with us saying, ' We don't know the answer,' " says Netzer. "But we're going to do our darndest to lay out all the evidence so that everybody can see these pictures."
Read the rest to get all of the details of the troubled history of the planned exhibition and see some new images (and more here and here), but this is the best way to go. The McMullen is going to have to work hard not to get used in the process, but we all want to see these paintings, don't we? And to do so in the context of other work, by Pollock, those around him, or possibly around these paintings. I understand the suspicions the works raise, and it seems clear that no one at BC wants to be seen as putting their reputation behind their authenticity. But we still want to have the chance to look and decide for ourselves. And while I understand the refusal of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation to cooperate and allow reproductions of undoubted paintings by either of those artists in the McMullen's catalog or exhibition, it's not really the best outcome from the perspective of an interested outsider. I suppose if one's of the opinion that these are fakes, even if not deliberate ones, there's no need for any of this. But I'd still like to see them.