The Image as Question

Ahead of The Image as Question at Michael Hoppen Gallery, the gallerist himself talks us through a selection of images from the exhibition. In the days leading up to the opening on the 28th of September, we’ll hear about one piece and why it made the final show. 

Pigment Composition Analysis of a Pollock Painting using Multispectral Flourescence and Ultra-Violet Imaging, Museum of Modern Art, New York, March, 2007 - Max Aguilera Hellweg. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery.

This wonderful image shows evidence being collected at MOMA in New York. Investigative scientific research is needed to establish benchmark evidence on the pigments used by artists to make their works. Often special fluorescence equipment is used to prove beyond doubt the authenticity of an object or to protect a work of art from ageing and the ravages of time. 

In many cases it can reveal the tricks and techniques used by an artist who is no longer able to divulge their methods and has also, on occasion, revealed earlier hidden paintings. Forensic photography is also used in various ways to substantiate or discount claims made against paintings that are believed to be fakes. 

Max Aguilera Hellweg works as a photographer in many fields including science, medicine, crime and anthropology. Max has many strings to his bow, but he always makes incredible pictures. This one has always been one of my favourites.

— Michael Hoppen