Case Study: Authenticity and Jackson Pollock’s Final Work

Red, Black & Silver is considered by some to be one of the last paintings to be made by Jackson Pollock shortly before his gruesomely fatal car crash in 1956.  His mistress, Ruth Kligman, claims to have seem him paint it.  However, the Pollock-Krasner Authentication Board questions its authenticity.  Unsigned and small by the artist’s standards, the work is the subject of “an explosive, decades-long battle, a saga that has drawn in some of America’s best-known artists and the power brokers of the art world.”

The work was headed to the auction block on September 20, 2012, at Phillips de Pury & Company in New York City but it was pulled practically at the last minute because of the ongoing questions about its authorship.  It is expected that the piece may finally find its way to the auction block in the Spring of 2013, following additional efforts to prove its origin.

Vanity Fair recently published a smart exploration of the challenges faced by the owners of this work and the difficult path the painting is facing on its way to the market.  Lesley Blume’s “The Canvas and the Triangle” can be found here.

Comments are closed.