Artists have long been attracted to the East End of Long Island, often citing the unique quality of the light, and as long as there have been artists, there have been those who follow them. The hamlet of the Springs, part of East Hampton town, was the preferred venue for a number of artists who lived there and gained fame in the 1940s through the 1960s, among them Willem de Koonig, Lee Krasner, and Jackson Pollock.
Pollock’s “painting shoes” on display at the Pollock/Krasner House in East Hampton
Sadly,Pollock died in 1956 while driving drunk on the winding wooded roads that are part of the Spring’s charm. The Pollock/Krasner House and studio where he and his wife Lee Krasner lived and worked is now owned and maintained by Stony Brook University, which operates tours of the property during the summer or by appointment. Many of our visitors to the area seek out the tiny property, where the biggest lure is the floor of Pollock’s studio, which looks like one of his iconic canvasses.
If the painting is real, it could be worth $160 million.
If it is real.
I am certainly no Pollock expert–hardly even an aficionado. I’d agree it looks rather like his studio floor. In fact, one of the “proofs” cited as provenance says that the authors of the report traveled to Pollock’s studio and laid the painting on the floor, matching up the paint spatters. Really? Surely that would presume that the painting was done very late in his career since the floor–not being an intentional work of art–was certainly not cleaned in between projects. Yet the painting is presumably circa 1947, some nine years before Pollack’s untimely death. Matching up squiggles seems like a stretch. Another “proof” cites the microscopic presence of birch leaves, which reportedly did exist on the property, which to my mind provides a better argument. Analysis of paint spatters, colors, etc. are more precise and are presented as part of the proof of provenance.
The jury, as they say, is still out.
On your next visit to the Hamptons, check out the Pollock/Krasner House and see what you think. More information on touring the Pollack/Krasner property can be found here.
Me, I think I’d spend $160 million on a waterfront property first.
Quote of the Day: Contrary to general belief, an artist is never ahead of his time but most people are far behind theirs. —Edgard Varese