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Computer Analysis of Paintings Raises Questions

UO study questions paintings’ authenticity
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1139455529308930.xml&coll=7

Fractals and art: In the hands of a master
http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060206/full/439648a.html

Jackson Pollock
http://www.nga.gov/feature/pollock/pollockhome.html

Richard Taylor: Further Information [pdf]
http://materialscience.uoregon.edu/taylor/art/info.html

Unpopular Front: American Art and the Cold War
http://www.newyorker.com/critics/content/articles/051017crat_atlarge

Robert Hughes, the venerable art critic for Time magazine, stated in 1982 “It is impossible to make a forgery of Jackson Pollock’s work”. It is certainly true that the physicality of his paintings, along with Pollock’s famed “pour” technique was forward-looking for its time. Given this information, it is not surprising that previously unknown works by Pollock that materialize draw close scrutiny from art historians, and increasingly, scientists. This week, the New York Times reported that Professor Richard Taylor of the University of Oregon had utilized fractal geometry to examine 14 of Pollock’s painting to help determine, and perhaps put into question, the authenticity of a cache of paintings found in 2003 in Wainscott, New York. This cache of paintings was discovered by Alex Matter, whose parents were friends with Pollock. Currently, Matter is planning a large exhibition of these newly discovered works, and this growing controversy has been closely followed among those in the art world. Dr. Taylor has remarked that his examination of the works has revealed “significant differences” between the patterns of these newer works and those of known Pollock works. He also mentioned that “That’s either due to one person who is extremely varied, or it’s due to a number of different artists.”

The first link will take visitors to a piece from this Thursday’s New York Times, which discusses the recent computer analysis of the paintings. The second link will whisk visitors away to a fine article by The Oregonian’s Richard L. Hill that discusses Dr. Taylor’s findings and the rising tide of controversy surrounding these works. The third link will lead users to an intriguing piece from the magazine, Nature, which explores the science behind Dr. Taylor’s investigations and Pollock’s idiosyncratic style and manner. The fourth link leads to a National Gallery of Art web exhibition on Pollock and his work that begins with a rather intense photograph of Pollock holding a cigarette to his forehead. The fifth link leads to Dr. Taylor’s homepage at the University of Oregon, where users may read some of his compelling articles and other writings on his analyses of Pollock’s work through the use of fractal geometry. The sixth and final link leads to a piece by Louis Menand, writing in The New Yorker on the subject of American art and its function and ideology during the Cold War.
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Alternate Title Computer Analysis Suggests Paintings Are Not Pollocks
Classification
GEM Subject
Publisher
Date Issued 2006
Language
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2006-02-10
Archived Scout Publication URL https://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/ScoutReport/2006/scout-060210#1

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