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5/15/2005

Jack-pot

From Newsday:
32 early works by Jackson Pollock are revealed after discovery in a storage locker in Hamptons

The 32 small paintings had been in a Wainscott storage locker for more than a quarter-century and were dark with grime when they were discovered.

But a few things quickly became apparent after the find two years ago. They were among the early drip paintings by the abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock. They were worth as much as $10 million altogether.

And they provide crucial evidence showing Pollock was far more careful and disciplined than is commonly thought, said Alex Matter, 62, a Manhattan filmmaker who yesterday publicly disclosed the existence of the paintings, which had belonged to his father.

"They were pretty filthy. It was when I got them cleaned and saw the colors that I was knocked out," said Matter, whose father Herbert Matter, a photographer, had been a close friend of Pollock, a longtime Springs resident who died in 1956.

Alex Matter said the works, 22 on canvas and 10 on boards, were previously unrecorded by art historians. The smallest is about 10-by-18 inches, he said.

...

The works are from 1946-1949 when Pollock began to just drip, pour or spatter, Matter said. Given to his father by the painter ... He found them as he was going through his parents' possessions after his mother's death several years ago. His father died in 1984.

The works show Pollock studying the interactions of different paints, he said. "He'd test whether to put a white first and then a black, or a black first and then a white. They were very carefully done. And that's not something that's often thought of with Pollock," Matter said. "He was careful and considered. You can see that much more clearly in the small paintings."

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