Sunday, September 09, 2007

Gallerist Borghi says he made cuts on Matter “Pollock”

And others saw Matter “Pollocks” before conservator, he adds

Mark Borghi of Mark Borghi Fine Art, which has represented the estate of Mercedes Matter and been involved with the Alex Matter “Pollocks,” responds by email to posts here on the resemblance of conservator Franco Lisi’s own paintings to the Matter “Pollocks” and the Harvard report apparently contradicting Alex Matter’s account that one of the “Pollocks” was damaged by a cat.
I would like to fill you in on the "chain of custody". The first person to see the works from Alex was William O'Reilly who told Alex to show them to Joan Wasburn, who is the representative of the Jackson Pollock estate. In fact Joan had 3 of the works for at least 7 months. A call to her gallery can confirm this. This is long before myself or Franco ever laid eyes on any of the paintings. I collected the works from Joan in their original state prior to any conservation. It was only at this point that I became involved. It was I who introduced Alex to Franco in the spring of 2003. … I read your article about the "cat picture" as well. I emailed Narayan earlier today about this. After the work was destroyed by the cat, Franco "reconstructed" the painting. He was ONLY supposed to stabilize the works. He was never told to reconstruct paint loses. When I received the work in the reconstructed state I was very upset and was able to partially remove Franco's restoration with an exacto knife. This is the "scalpel" effect that Narayan is talking about. This was told to Harry Copper and Carol Mancusi-Ungaro from the Fogg in 2005 when they came to see the paintings. I also told Narayn to ignore this work as it had been completely damaged/restored.
Borghi also forwards a message that he says he emailed to Narayan Khandekar, senior conservation scientist at Harvard’s Straus Center for Conservation, who has disputed Matter’s account that a cat damaged one of the “Pollocks”
After the cat destroyed the work in question, it was given to Franco Lissi to see if he could put any of the work back together. When the painting was returned to Alex, it had been completely repainted by Lissi. I removed some of the repaint with an exacto knife to give an idea of the original condition.

This information was provided to Harry Cooper and Carol Mancusi-Ungaro when they came to NY to see the works in 2005. Based on what Cook reports you said to him, I'm guessing that they did not share this information with you. Both Harry and Carol were told that this work was totally repainted and that testing its paint would be of little value. Of course Mr. Lissi can also confirm the damage done to the painting as he cleaned it in its original state and did the “restoration” as well.
I’ve added Borghi’s comments as addendums to the original posts.


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