Comments on: When art galleries ratify forgeries A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: TFF Mon, 05 Dec 2011 19:08:16 +0000 ErnieD, the artistry is in the act of creation itself. An art market that is focused on dead works by dead artists stifles the new. This goes beyond the financial implications.

As MKCurious notes, plutocrats are attracted to art because it allows them to vicariously share in the greatness of others. They buy the story, the experience, the connection. Yet ironically this has nothing to do with the creation — the art — itself.

By: ErnieD Mon, 05 Dec 2011 17:55:54 +0000 @MKCurious:

The typical person who spends $200k on a house pays for a home inspection, a title search, and a survey before buying the house regardless of the representations of the seller and realtor. They will usually do this even if they are not getting a mortgage.

Why would you not do the same for a $17 million painting?

I do agree that many artists would not be distraught if the art price bubble was pricked. After all, the high prices are usually reserved for the works by dead artists. Many artists don’t see the financial rewards that later generations of their art buyers eventually see.

By: MKCurious Sun, 04 Dec 2011 19:09:58 +0000 Methinks ErnieD and JKLFA are a little too harsh on these buyers. After all, Knoedler spents years trying to sell them–eventually someone came along who didn’t ask all the right questions.

But I think some artists would not be too distraught if the bubble for celebrity art were pricked. Art is, necessarily, commercial. But should it be commercial to the tune of $17million? At this point, you are buying a relic, like Elvis’s handkerchief, not a piece of art that is supposed to be admired.

The real value of the work is not its aesthetic qualities, but that it was made by one of the great artists of the 20th century. It forms a direct link to the artist. People are buying the story, not just the painting. And there’s nothing wrong with that, even if $17mill seems like a hefty price tag.

By: ErnieD Sun, 04 Dec 2011 17:13:10 +0000 Welcome to the unregulated free market Mr. Lagrange.

My understanding of one of the basic tenets is that people will not do irrational things that could cause their own demise. However, it seems that we are seeing a distinct pattern over the past decade where individuals and organizations appear to be very willing to create fraudulent (if not legally, certainly morally)things for sale, such as forged paintings, MBSs, CDSs etc. that cannot possibly work out in the long run for them.

So, just another example of people finding a sucker to buy something that has little value in order to achieve a short-term gain while risking their reputation, frfeedom, and future earnings

By: JKLFA Sun, 04 Dec 2011 07:52:16 +0000 It is unlikely and frankly highly doubtful 17 paintings of the caliber sold would have no provenance; no history, etc. Even the most private Collectors are usually able to provide documentation/substantiation that can be verified.

The $17 million Jackson Pollock sold by Knoedler was not only unknown to Pollock experts, but also not included in the Catalogue Raisonne. Further, Knoedler had tried to sell the painting unsuccessfully for at least seven years before it was sold to Pierre Lagrange.

Since we now know the paint used did not exist during Pollock’s lifetime, its posthumous creation explains why there is an absence of Museum exhibitions, Gallery labels and Invoice records – there weren’t any.

Savvy Art Buyers would have required additional due diligence before buying a $17 million Pollock painting with zero history as well as a group of Motherwell Paintings, also mysteriously never shown and without credible history.

It is disturbing the Daedalus Foundation was so misled by Julian Weisman, so much so that the majority of its multi-million dollar revenue is now earmarked to hefty Foundation salaries & legal fees..

Art Dealers only have one Reputation and clearly the FBI Investigation will cause permanent damage while also providing a wake-up call to anyone who wants to buys a major Post War and or Contemporary Artwork with thin/no provenance.

By: Chris08 Sun, 04 Dec 2011 07:11:47 +0000 It is probably wiser to buy expensive paintings from Sotheby’s or Christie’s who won’t go “out of business” suddenly and who have more reason to be very careful about claims of provenance.

By: wah718 Sun, 04 Dec 2011 02:37:00 +0000 In the case of Freedman isn’t it just as likely, possibly more likely, that she bought her painting (and for how much?) precisely so she could sell more of the fake paintings ?

“I myself have bought 3 paintings” is a pretty good sales pitch also.

By: Fuddleducker Sun, 04 Dec 2011 02:32:26 +0000 Sounds like a job for the ratings agencies.

By: mfw13 Sun, 04 Dec 2011 02:17:36 +0000 The problem with most art produced after WWII is that often it by definition does not have a long provenance, since it is not very old.

After all, isn’t it entirely plausible that early in their career, before they became famous and their work valuable, an artist might give some works to a friend or relative, where they might sit in an attic/basement/private collection until the collector’s death?

When you are talking about works produced in the 50’s and 60’s, it’s entirely plausible that they may never have been seen by the public until the first time they are sold, which means that they, for entirely rational and logical reasons, have no provenance.

By: TSTS Sat, 03 Dec 2011 19:07:44 +0000 “Knoedler, the 164-year-old Upper East Side institution, closed abruptly on Wednesday in large part to protect itself against a $17 million lawsuit from Pierre Lagrange.”

Just curious: how does closing the gallery protect it? Or you actually mean it protects the people behind it and their personal fortunes? Or it allowed the principals to pull out all the funds?