A long-lost Jackson Pollock painting once owned by a New York City socialite — and worth up to $15 million — was discovered in a dusty Arizona garage, according to a report Tuesday.
The splattered abstract art, which hits the auction block this week, was unearthed in January 2016, when retiree Gordon Cosgriff called an appraiser to his Scottsdale home.
Cosgriff hired the appraiser, Josh Levine, to size up how much a signed L.A. Lakers basketball poster was worth, according to the news site.
But an orange and green painting — featuring Pollock’s signature splatter — caught his eye under a pile of art, he said.
“As we’re going through the stack and we’re down to this last piece … I was like, ‘God, that looks like a Jackson Pollock,” Levine said.
Arizona is generally home to traditional southwest paintings, not big name New York City modern art, but it looked legit.
Levine then launched a borderline obsessive hunt — and even hired a private investigator — to prove it was the real thing.
Levine traced the owner’s history and learned that his late sister, Jenifer Gordon Cosgriff, once lived in the Big Apple in the 1950s. As the “black sheep” of her Midwestern family, she hobnobbed with provocative artists.
Her friends included writer Clement Greenberg, modern artist Hazel Guggenheim McKinley — and Jackson Pollock.
Levine forked over tens of thousands of dollars to authenticate the piece and to prove Gordon Cosgriff’s was at a Pollock art showing. And he hired experts to investigate the style and chemical make-up of the paint.
“All I was interested in was, was it executed before Jackson Pollock was dead, before 1956?” Levine said.
Experts soon confirmed it was one of Pollock’s missing “gouaches” — a style in which he used paint, water and a binding agent between 1945 and 1949.
Levine was thrilled.
“I actually felt weightless,” he said. “I was actually kind of worried I was having a panic attack or something.”
The painting, which faded and slightly damaged, needs to be restored at a price of $50,000, he said.
The piece will be auctioned off on June 20. Levine estimated it will sell for between $5 and $15 million.
By contrast, the Lakers poster he was at first called to appraise was valued at just $300.