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Очередная ошибка музейного работника на миллион долларов

Originally posted by dmitrykolosov at Очередная ошибка музейного работника на миллион долларов
И снова в скандальной истории фигурирует уважаемый и заслуженный музейный работник - Ирина Владимировна Геращенко, подтвердившая поддельную работу И.Э. Грабаря, проданную за миллион коллекционеру. Эти грабли набьют шишки еще не раз, пока музейщикам полностью не запретят зарабатывать на экспертизах. Пиши книги, устраивай выставки, читай лекции! Куда тебя несет, музейщик, по скользкой дорожке. Сейчас не 90-е, голову не открутят, но пора уже, как в цивилизованном мире, кроме сомнительной репутации, еще и материальными активами обеспечивать своё мнение. Да и вообще, зачем нужны эти атрибуции, если даже их техническую часть толком выполнить не могут. А уж искусствоведческая часть!... Она полностью зависит от настроения музейного эксперта. Облаяла собака, не удался кофе, месячные и... получай на вполне нормальную картину отрицательную атрибуцию. Возможен и обратный вариант. В статье Геращенко смутилась, только после того, как ей принисли еще пять больших картин Грабаря. Если бы не принесли, вообще бы не сомневалась.
И так называемые коллекционеры. Какие картины за миллион, если ты не видишь, что это картина вчера написана. Статусные коллекционеры почему-то уверены, что их никто не будет обманывать. Будут, еще как будут! Если у кого-то есть деньги - то уж "слабоумие и отвага" тут как тут. Дожили! уже и Грабарь - в общем-то очень средний художник - за такие деньги продаётся.



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Нашел 20 000 золотых изделий. Продал квартиру, чтобы продолжать раскопки.

Originally posted by dmitrykolosov at Нашел 20 000 золотых изделий. Продал квартиру, чтобы продолжать раскопки.
Читал найденныев сети интервью с легендарным археологом Виктором Сарианиди. Выдающаяся судьба достойная биографа, но какая-то уж очень трагичная. Несколько цитат из разных интервью:

Я ведь Маргиану нашел совершенно случайно, дуриком. Мне повезло. В 1972 году мы вели раскопки небольшого и в общем рядового поселения Тахирбай. И вот уже конец сезона, завтра уезжать. По этому случаю поддали. Утром голова, конечно, болит. Я говорю нашему антропологу: «Поехали на север. Может, чего-нибудь найдем». Я, собственно, проветриться хотел. И вот в десяти километрах от лагеря, прямо в песке, вижу куски керамики. А раз есть керамика, значит, была и жизнь....

— Кто финансирует вашу экспедицию? — задаю я археологу самый современный вопрос.
Археолог дает вполне современный ответ:
— Я трачу свои деньги. Вот четырехкомнатную квартиру продал, теперь живу в этой лачуге...

Потом в Кабуле золото взвешивали. В магазине при нашем посольстве. На обычных весах, на которых взвешивали хлеб и муку.



Выхожу я из музея, стоят два француза, курят, и один говорит другому: «Молодцы наши французы, какие сокровища нашли!» А на афише не было даже указано, что это копала советско-афганская экспедиция! И только мое имя было написано очень мелким шрифтом.

Из статьи http://www.gumilev-center.ru/
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Британский музей выложил 4,5 тысячи изображений своих экспонатов в сеть

Originally posted by matveychev_oleg at Британский музей выложил 4,5 тысячи изображений своих экспонатов в сеть
Британский музей открыл онлайн-доступ к своей коллекции — посетители сайта cмогут увидеть 4,5 тысячи экспонатов, говорится в сообщении музея. Виртуальные туры организованы с применением технологии Google Street View, цифровая экспозиция стала совместным проектом Google Cultural Institute и Британского музея.



Оригинал взят у philologist
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Мск, Воронцовский парк, обелиск "Защитникам земли российской"

Originally posted by quadrimanus at Мск, Воронцовский парк, обелиск "Защитникам земли российской"
Весеннее предпраздничное обострение, что поделаешь.
Кропотливые исследователи ему подвержены так же, как и рукожопые говноделы; весною те и другие, как и крысы, выходят из подвалов в поисках свежей пищи к 9-му мая ждем поздравительных плакатов с немецкими танчиками и подробной, гневной их критики.
Но плакаты, в конце концов, просто дешевая бумага. Ободрали, извинились - и нет их.
А это вот ободрать будет сложнее. Монументальное искусство, не кот начихал. Да и торчит уже второй год, прижилось.

барельеф.jpg

В конце апреля вопрос обсудили на ренакторе.
Собственно, из обсуждения все понятно, поэтому здесь добавлю только, чего не было там.

Официальная информация по сделке "Усадьбы Воронцово" с конторой "Капитель-Классик"на ЭТП Сбербанк-АСТ
Обратим внимание, что в ТЗ изначально отсутствует какое бы то ни было описание барельефа, только на чертеже обозначены габариты.

А теперь самая большая, жирная вишня на торт.
Наикропотливейший из кропотливых, vadim_egor, после прогулки (уверен, что с женою) по Воронцовскому парку, написал в администрацию ядовитое письмо.

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***
В таких случаях моя бабушка говорила: хоть святых вон выноси.

***
Не могу не выделить:
Изучив ваши замечания и материалы... действительно видна историческая неточность
Подъезжая к сией станции, у меня слетела шляпа.

Классика.
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the history of one of the biggest art forgery scams ever uncovered

Sunday, May 1, 2016, 00:01 by

Bertrand Borg

An artful swindle

Bertrand Borg traces the history of one of the biggest art forgery scams ever uncovered.

Malcolm Kenwood’s lecture, The art of deception, took the audience through some of the art world’s greatest cons.
[Spoiler (click to open)]

Malcolm Kenwood’s lecture, The art of deception, took the audience through some of the art world’s greatest cons.

On the surface, John Drewe seemed to be living the sort of life many people dream of.

He had two physics PhDs and a job as an advisor at the Atomic Energy Authority. He lived in an upmarket London neighbourhood with his family and was an admired patron of the Tate Gallery.

But Drewe had a secret. He had never studied physics. His job was a sham. And instead of working on atomic energy, he was the mastermind behind the biggest art forgery racket of the 20th century.

Fifteen years on, the art world’s bruises have yet to completely heal. And the recent news of a hitherto-unknown Caravaggio having been found gathering dust in a French attic should prompt art lovers to remember the lessons learnt from the Drewe-Myatt affair.

Sometimes, a buyer’s keenness to obtain an object means they ignore the warning signs, former West Sussex art detective Malcolm Kenwood explained in a recent lecture he gave in Malta. Having spent his career hunting down men like Drewe, Malcolm was on the island to lecture of art forgeries and fakes as part of the DFASinMalta monthly art lecture series.

In Drewe’s case, the warning signs were certainly there. Art galleries were all-too-happy to grant him access to their document libraries in exchange for grandiose donations, with Drewe then using the documents as templates for forged ones. Dealers and auction houses accepted documentation from people and organisations Drewe had conjured out of thin air.

Perhaps most damningly of all, the 200 forged Giacometti, Chagall, Matisse, Sutherland and other paintings created for Drewe by his accomplice John Myatt were technically mediocre.

So mediocre, in fact, that they were painted using Dulux emulsion paint and KY Jelly.

A born con man, Drewe’s real genius lay in recognising two key weaknesses in the way high art was bought and sold: buyers relied heavily on historical documents to prove a painting’s authenticity, while the art experts who could best judge a painting often feared making a judgment call, knowing that one wrong call could ruin their reputation.

Somewhere in the world, people are paying insurance premiums and installing security systems for a Marc Chagall they once bought, which in reality is painted using emulsion paint and KY Jelly

The con artist ruthlessly worked these angles. He forged signatures, drafted buyers’ certificates and used the names of old acquaintances who were down on their luck as fronts.

In one case, a would-be buyer was keen to find an expert to examine a purported Giacometti. One of Drewe’s middle men suggested he speak to Art Research Associates, a firm that specialised in authenticating artworks. The firm was run by a ‘Prof Drewe’, who confirmed there was “no question” the Myatt-painted fraud was a genuine Giacometti – for a hefty fee.

Artist John Myatt now runs a successful business selling 'genuine forgeries'. Photo: Washington Green Fine ArtArtist John Myatt now runs a successful business selling 'genuine forgeries'. Photo: Washington Green Fine Art

In the end, it was trouble at home that brought the two fraudsters crashing down. When Drewe left his partner, he forgot to take all of his documents with him. Scorned and suspicious, she took the papers to the police. That led them to Myatt, who had become an increasingly unwilling accomplice over the years. When police came knocking, he folded like a deck of cards and agreed to testify against Drewe.

The pair had made more than €1 million from the scam. Of the estimated 200 forgeries that the two created, only 70-odd have been recovered. Their elaborate web of deceit, coupled perhaps with a degree of cognitive dissonance – who wants to be told that they’ve spent millions on a worthless fake? – means that many of their works may never be found.

A Modigliani painted by John Drewe’s one-time accomplice John Myatt. Source: <a href="http://www.johnmyatt.com" target="_blank">www.johnmyatt.com</a>A Modigliani painted by John Drewe’s one-time accomplice John Myatt. Source: www.johnmyatt.com

Authentication methods have come a long way since the Drewe-Myatt scandal, says Mr Kenwood. DNA and forensic technology have made art forgery harder to pull off, and dealers have grown more suspicious of sudden discoveries that come like a bolt from the blue.

When the scandal broke, its sheer scale meant the art world’s reputation lay in tatters. How could two men with a typewriter and some household paint have hoodwinked so many self-professed ‘experts’? What incentive did auction houses have to ensure provenance research was done robustly?

And if the only difference between a genuine de Staël and one painted by a fraudster was forged paperwork, was the million-dollar trade in master artworks a modern-day version of the Emperor’s new clothes?

Yet despite the setback, art prices have continued to rise as the mega-rich race to seize the social cachet owning a masterpiece bestows. Those in the know estimate that as much as 15 per cent of all art is forged or fake: it seems safe to assume that as long as those with deep pockets continue to thirst for art’s prestige rather than its intrinsic worth, the Drewes and Myatts of this world will find work.

The real-life Drewe ended up spending five years behind bars. Once released, he went on to con a 70-year-old lady out of her life savings. Myatt took a more benign path, starting a thriving business of selling ‘John Myatt genuine forgeries’ for thousands of pounds.

Myatt has said that he’ll never identify the works he painted. Which means that, somewhere in the world, people are paying insurance premiums and installing security systems for a Marc Chagall they once bought, which in reality is painted using emulsion paint and KY Jelly.

The next DFASinMalta lecture will be held on June 6 and is titled Treasure of the Silk Road: From China to the Mediterranean. For more information, find them on Facebook.


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IP litigator says she was startled to find that her art forgery article had been plagiarized online

Intellectual Property Law

IP litigator says she was startled to find that her art forgery article had been plagiarized online

Posted Apr 28, 2016 12:40 pm CDT

By Martha Neil

[Spoiler (click to open)]

When intellectual property litigator Leila Amineddoleh read a recent online article about fake and falsely attributed art works, she was startled.

The Tehelka Blog article, “The Rise Of Fakes And False Attributions In The Art World,” was substantially the same as her own “Purchasing Art in a Market Full of Forgeries: Risks and Legal Remedies for Buyers,” writes Amineddoleh in IP Watchdog.

A copy of Amineddoleh’s article, which was published in the International Journal of Cultural Heritage, can be found on Social Science Research Network.

The online article—supposedly written by an intellectual property attorney in India—followed the structure of her own work and used sentences and even entire paragraphs that were almost exactly the same, Amineddoleh says.

She and her law firm fired off a demand letter, which is posted on the Galluzzo & Amineddoleh law firm website.

While Amineddoleh writes that she has not yet received a response, the online article is now attributed to her. A line at the end states: “This article is taken from ‘Purchasing Art in a Market Full of Forgeries: Risks and Legal Remedies for Buyers,’ written by Leila A. Amineddoleh, an art and IP lawyer at Galluzzo & Amineddoleh LLP.”

Emails sent by the ABA Journal Thursday morning to the blog that published the article and the law firm at which Amineddoleh says the other attorney works did not receive an immediate response.



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WANTED, TRUE OR FALSE – IS THE MARKET FOR RUSSIAN ART FORGERY BETTER VALUE THAN THE MARKET FOR THE G

WANTED, TRUE OR FALSE – IS THE MARKET FOR RUSSIAN ART FORGERY BETTER VALUE THAN THE MARKET FOR THE GENUINE ARTICLE?


By John Helmer, Moscow

Faking of Russian paintings by forgers, certified by fraudsters pretending to be experts, is on trial in St. Petersburg and Wiesbaden, Germany, but until the verdicts are delivered, there is no certainty of value, no reliable pricing. Suspicious canvases are surfacing regularly in all the European capitals, including Moscow. But as the growth in market value of genuine Russian art slows to a halt, with the decline in fortune of Russian art-buyers, has the profit margin in faking become a better line of business to be in – if you are a seller?
[Spoiler (click to open)]
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Post-19th century art is the best line to be in if you are forger, faker, and fraudster because the genuine materials – canvas, paper, brushes, pencils, and paints – are cheap and easy to get hold of. This is also because there has been less time for real experts to accumulate catalogues of real works, with demonstrable provenance – that’s provable ownership from the artist’s hand, to collector, to gallery wall. The destruction of the Russian civil war, followed by the German invasion, and the persecution of Jewish artists and collectors have provided cover stories for Israeli and other crooks to dig up, or otherwise discover Russian works never known to exist before – because they didn’t.

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Adolph Hitler presents Hermann Goering with “The Falconer” by Hans Makart as a gift on January 12, 1938. The work, painted in 1880, was bought first by Hitler from art dealer Karl Haberstock. How much below market Haberstock asked as his price; what he had paid for the work himself, and to whom; and what Hitler paid Haberstock are questions not easily answered. Nor is whether the work was as genuine as Haberstock told Hitler, and Hitler told Goering. When thieves trade in art, forgers have plenty of camouflage. If the Markart had been faked, and Haberstock was conning Hitler, the current owner of the Makart, the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, had better double-check.

Italians, French, British, Swiss, and Israelis have all worked out — many of them faster than Russians because they had a head-start before the Soviet Union collapsed – that what is needed to maximize profit is to corner supply in a commodity the market believes is scarce enough to pay a premium for. Russian art between 1900 and 1930 has been a lucrative corner of the market, because the artists had short lifespans, leaving poor trails of their works and what they did with them.

This business – falshak it’s called in Russian – requires three people: the forger to produce the fakes; the dealer to market them for sale and collect the proceeds; and the expert to sign an authentication certificate verifying what he or she knows to be false. According to evidence given in a St. Petersburg court case now underway, “almost 70% of paintings in the art market by Russian artists of the first half of the twentieth century are fake.” For more details, see.

If caught, the culprits may be arrested. But very few go to jail – almost none for as long as they would if they had stolen the equivalent in cash, cars, jewellery, or real estate. Sending the art-fakers to prison isn’t easy, for it must be proven that the expert wasn’t making a genuine mistake; that the seller intended to deceive the buyer; and that the work was in fact faked. And all of this evidence must be gathered before the statute of limitations runs out – that can be as little as 3 years in Russia and Germany; 5 years in France; 6 in the UK and US.

In falshak the risk is not as high as you might think that the cheated buyer can prove that what he’s got on his wall is a fake. The forger, fraudster and liar don’t have to prove the work was true; the victim must prove it false. “Falshak is better business than hashish or cocaine,” a European dealer and specialist in Russian art, comments. “The costs of production are much cheaper. The sale price and profit are great, and the risks of prosecution and conviction much smaller.”

The prosecution of Elena Basner, a former curator at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and expert on the Russian avant-garde, involves charges relating to a painting by Boris Grigoriev, apparently dated in 1913.

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After more than a year of testimony in the Dzerzhinsky District Court in St. Petersburg, there is little doubt it’s a fake. Basner has admitted most of the evidence of her attributions. She says she was paid $20,000 for authenticating the Grigoriev. For a summary in English of the case details, plus claims in defence of Basner that she has been set up by academic or business rivals, read this. At the latest court hearing on April 14, Judge Anzhelika Morozova complained at the prosecutors’ delays.“How long will the prosecution ask for the continuation of the case?.. At the next meeting we will resolve all issues related to the completion of the trial in the case.” For more on the hearing, click.

Basner’s defence is that she erred innocently, and in good faith. Her past involvement in certifications has also spilled across the border, where the Fnnish authorities are investigating dozens of apparent fakes with Basner’s warranties attached. No charges have been filed there, yet. How many innocent mistakes can be made before they become provable fraud is the point still to be tested in both the courts of Russia and Finland.

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Left: Yelena Basner; right; German police display one of the alleged fakes in Wiesbaden.

The Wiesbaden case involves three partially named Israelis who are accused of trading faked paintings by Kazimir Malevich, Natalia Goncharova, and Alexander Rodchenko. The Israeli press has identified the name of one of the accused as Yitzhak Zarig. Their dealing establishment in Wiesbaden was called SNZ. Reportedly, their take was €11 million. No evidence of the cost – forgery of the painting, transportation, storage, rent, payoffs to accomplices – has appeared. The mark-up is believed to have been about one-thousand percent (that’s 1,000%).

More than a thousand works were confiscated by the German police as part of their investigation, which began two years before the arrests. The trial has not been completed, and there is no verdict yet.

A source in Spain says he bought paintings by other Russian painters – Alexandra Exter (below, left), El Lissitsky (centre), and Nikolai Suetin (right) – from a dealer in Münster, Germany. It was later revealed the dealer got the works for sale on commission from SNZ in Wiesbaden.

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When the cheated buyer presented his demand to his seller for return of the money, the dealer declared insolvency. Although contracts between the Münster dealer and the SNZ gallery have been uncovered, the evidence of deliberate fraud is based on false information about the provenance of the works. When the dealer sold them to his mark, he didn’t mention SNZ as the source. That discovery took six years to make.

Because of technological advances in detection, and because the US tested, then dropped the first atomic bombs on Japan in 1945, the presence or absence of caesium and strontium isotopes in artworks can determine whether they were produced before or after 1945. There are many other detection methods; this one was first proposed by Basner.

Improvement in detection methods allows more confidence in authentication, comments James Butterwick, a London dealer and specialist in Ukrainian and Russian avant-garde painters. “Ten years ago there were a great many small dealers selling Russian avant-garde works – dealers who wanted to make a quick name for themselves with discoveries and big deals. From the Wiesbaden evidence we know the forgeries were mass produced in their thousands and sold outside the big auction houses. There appears to be less of that now.”

ButterwickButterwick (right) concedes there is little knowledge in the market about how much forgers are paid, and what the mark-up is for falshak. The Wiesbaden case revealed the existence of forgery workshops, with records of who produced the fakes. Details of what these painters were paid are not available. Experts suspect the forger may get $5,000 per canvas; the expert $20,000 for an authentication certificate. But the work may start trading at $750,000, and keep rising until suspicion beats demand.

“No self-respecting dealer would touch these things,” Butterwick says about works he’s certain could not have been produced by the purported artist. He acknowledges, though, that the profit incentive may be big enough to overcome self-respect.

In Moscow, a specialist on modern Russian art agrees; she asks not to be named. “If the artist is alive, faking his work is simply dangerous, because the truth will emerge very quickly. If an artist is well-known but already dead, there is usually a foundation that deals with the study of his work, and provides the statistics, the so-called catalogue raisonné, which is going to identify all his work, from birth to death, so to say. Therefore, the appearance on the market of uncatalogued or freshly discovered work no self-respecting gallery or auction house will accept — without the expertise of the foundation, and that is usually controlled by relatives of the deceased artist. The emergence of a new work always runs into a lot of mistrust, and will be checked very carefully, especially now that there’s the technology to do it. Accordingly, it makes sense in market terms to forge not very famous but deceased artists whose lists of works have blank spots. The costs are scanty, but the benefits can be enormous.”

What if the relatives and friends of the dead artists calculate they can go on making profits for themselves by “enlarging” the supply beyond the catalogue? Chashnik, a student of Malevich, died in St. Petersburg in 1929 at the age of just 28. His son, Ilya Ilich, helped organize the first major exhibition of his father’s work outside the Soviet Union. That was at the Leonard Hutton Gallery in New York in 1979.

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Left: Ilya Chashnik junior in St. Petersburg with US friend and dealer, Lev (Lew) Nussberg; right: the Hutton catalogue of 1979. Nussberg’s subsequent dealings in works by Chashnik, Malevich, and Suetin have led to controversy and litigation. For details, read this.

According to the Hutton catalogue and a current expert on Chashnik, there were no paintings in oil by Chashnik in the 1979 show. Can the artist have executed genuine oil paintings, and if he did, where have they been for the past 40 years?

Alexandre ArzamastsevLast month in Paris the Tajan art auction-house offered for sale Russian works by Chashnik and El Lissitsky. The Tajan dealer and specialist for impressionist and modern art is Caroline Cohn; the expert for authentication, Alexandre Arzamastsev. One of two Chashnik works for sale was this one (right), identified as an oil painting titled “Suprematist Cross”. There is a date for Arzamastsev’s recent certificate, but no date for the painting, and no record of its provenance. The price estimate by Cohn was between €18,000 and €20,000. Cohn says the works were sold on March 8. “We don’t have any other artworks by this artist for the moment,” she adds. She was asked to clarify “the provenance of the works you have just sold, and how do you characterize the seller (individual, institutional; Russian, non-Russian) and the buyer (same)? Finally, there is no recognition in Moscow of the name of your expert, Mr Arzamastev – what can you tell me about him?” Cohn refused to answer.

The Chashnik case is far from unique in European modern art. The younger they die, and the more unrecognized and impoverished their short careers were, the easier it can be for their survivors – lovers, children, friends – to make discoveries of hitherto unknown work.

There is the well-known case of Christian Parisot, for example, friend of the only daughter of Amedeo Modigliani; expert on the painter; and also President of the Archives Legales Amedeo Modigliani, and thus keeper of the catalogue of Modigliani’s works. Was he the faker and fraudster he was charged with being by the Italian police in January 2013? For the start of the case, read this.

Along with Parisot (below, left) and his suspected accomplice, art dealer Matteo Vignapiano, the police seized 59 fakes including 41 sketches, 13 graphic designs, four sculptures in bronze and an oil painting. The Financial Times, the New York Times and other mainstream media reported the arrest, because of its impact on the multimillion dollar market in Modigliani works. There’s been no comparable report of the outcome of Parisot’s case, if it has ended.

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In May 2008, Parisot had been convicted by a Paris court, imprisoned, and fined for selling faked drawings by Modigliani of Jeanne Hébuterne, his partner. The tipoff to the police in that case came from Hébuterne’s great-nephew. But did the Parisot arrest in Italy five years later put a dent in the market for genuine Modiglianis? “There is no doubt,” claimed the New York Times days after the new charges were made public, “that the 1919 portrait of the Italian painter’s lover Jeanne Hebuterne [above, right] on sale at Christie’s is genuine. And Christie’s hopes that if anything, the clamour for genuine works by the Italian artist will have increased. Hence its upbeat predictions for the imminent auction of the key portrait.” That painting of Hébuterne was sold by Christie’s in February 2013 for £26.9 million ($42.3 million).

Still, the profitability of faking is bound to stay ahead of the genuine article, for reason of the combination of volume and margin — the supply of fakes is unlimited, but because it is also controllable and low-cost, compared with the high-priced rarities, so the seller may end up making more money than the genuine trade.

Another con is the forger who claims he’s an artistic genius whose only mistake was, not the faked painting, but the faked signature at bottom or back. This is the case and claim of convicted German forger dealers, Wolfgang and Helene Beltracchi. “I was in prison not for the painting, but for the signature,” Wolfgang summed up. “I regret the wrong signature,” The pair did time for their “mistake”.

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In Moscow Yekaterina Kartseva, co-owner and founder of Privatecollections.ru, says it is difficult to be sure whether the market in fakes is growing or contracting at the moment, compared to the genuine trade. “For sure I can say that such cases [falshak] come up regularly. This trend has emerged since the 1970s and 1980s, in many areas of modern and contemporary art which are easiest to forge. The high-profile cases are rare. Less high-profile cases occur quite regularly. Many of my friends who bought a painting at auction can no longer obtain confirmation of the authenticity, and many auction houses are bombarded with lawsuits. Most problems arise with online auctions, since there it is more difficult to keep track.”

According to Kartseva, “the art market is designed unlike any other. Because of the nature of art as a product, it is certainly more prone to fraud. Also, this stimulates the very high price of some works, when it isn’t clear whether the picture is bought for itself or for the cash equivalent of the asset investment. The market rules are such that there is, and can be until the contrary is proven, the opinion of recognized experts who have the legal right to issue attributions. Notwithstanding, it has often turned out that they deliberately fabricated conclusions. So there is nothing that can surprise me.”

“In Russia, unlike the West, no license is required to give an authenticating examination. All and sundry can do this, though to improve the reliability of the expertise we play a role. In Moscow there are also the Tretyakov Gallery and the Grabar Centre. There is still a problem with the process. Authentication usually ends up with a sentence like ‘a work does not conflict with the brush of a certain author’. There’s no clarity. Often too, the views of some experts do not necessarily agree with the opinion of others.”

Yevgeny Zyablov is chairman of the board of Art Consulting in Moscow. He himself has been the victim of faking of the Suprematist artists Malevich, Suetin, and Chashnik, as this US court case attested. “Our company,” he says, “was created in order to protect investors, so we have a very tough procedure. Therefore, the British market accepts our expertise for the insurance of private collections.”

1799_9Zyablov (right) doesn’t think the trade in falshak is increasing. But one reason for this, he concedes, is because the genuine trade is contracting. “The market has ceased to grow during the crisis. Despite the individual auction records, total sales have decreased repeatedly (by three to four times). During the growth of the market, investors (buyers) had high hopes for value appreciation, and they bought a lot of things that were attributed by some authors without evidence. For example, there was no provenance. Now all these things are ‘out of the market.’”

“The second reason is fairly obvious. If the market itself has fallen in volume, the number of people who want to do fakes and sell them is greatly reduced. Thirdly, expertise on counterfeiting in the market has been developing strongly. The education of market participants has become much higher as saturation in the supply for examination in the market has become obvious. This applies to Russia and to the rest of the world.”

The art market has a paradoxical attitude towards experts, Zyablov points out. “There are cases when artwork does not pass laboratory examination, but then we see that the seller had an institute to expertise it and the work goes on the market, where it is sold and bought. So, first of all, when applying for assessment it is necessary to pay attention to the reputation of the expert institution. Examine all possible institutions. The standard range for technological expertise for a painting is between $2,000 and $3,000, but there are studies which are conducted over a much longer period, so the cost will be completely different.”

The lucrativeness of falshak is creating a market for experts, Zyablov reports; and in this market the cost of the expertise is in inverse relationship to its reliability. “One of the challenges of the market is for those who stand on the side of the investor. The fact that you protect a buyer — noone wants to know about it, and the market tries to hide it. This means the market is fighting against you. Because you [on the buyers’ side] do not miss the controversial things, while those who stand on the side of the sellers are more lenient in their assessments, so the market promotes them. In this way, there is a better business for those who are less strict. Here’s a paradox. The market is trying to raise the reputation of flexible experts, to show that they are the most important, while those who are more exacting, they are treated negatively in the market. In this case, where the trend is protective of the buyer, it’s going against the market.”



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TAJAN AUCTION HOUSE EXPOSED IN FAKE SALE CLAIM FOR RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDIST, ILYA CHASHNIK

TAJAN AUCTION HOUSE EXPOSED IN FAKE SALE CLAIM FOR RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDIST, ILYA CHASHNIK

By John Helmer, Moscow

A rare drawing by Ilya Chashnik, a Russian artist who died in St. Petersburg in 1929, was sold last month by the Tajan art auction house after a warning that the provenance claimed for the work was false. The work was sold on March 8, according to Tajan’s specialist for modern art, Caroline Cohn. Subsequent requests for proof that the drawing is a genuine one, and that the expert authenticating it, Alexandre Arzamastsev, is also genuine, have been rebuffed by Tajan. “The tone which you use is totally discourteous,”Cohn emailed. “Please note that neither TAJAN nor myself authorize you to quote me in your article.”

Chashnik has been a target for fakers and fraudsters because he died young when Soviet artists were isolated by the politics of the Soviet art world, the anti-Soviet alliance in Europe and the US, and by approaching world war. Lack of a reliable catalogue of Chashnik’s surviving works did not appear until his son, Ilya Ilyich, assisted in mounting a retrospective exhibition in New York in 1979. He too is dead. For more on the artist (below, left), with illustrations, read this.
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One of the notable collectors of this Russian and Soviet art was George Costakis (above, right), a Greek who spent most of his life working in Moscow. The story of how he collected the artworks now known by his name and on display in the state art museums of both Russia and Greece can be read here. There are two collections; neither of them sells Chashnik’s works. The collection Costakis took to Greece in 1977 has been installed in Thessaloniki, where it can be viewed here.

Still, by comparison with others who outlived him, Chashnik was, and still is, a relative unknown. That contributes to the rarity of his works, and to the high price they have begun to command if they are genuine. Chashnik’s obscurity also contributes to the ease with which his work can be forged and buyers defrauded.

According to London art dealer James Butterwick, “I had one at TEFAF [The European Fine Art Fair, Maastricht], priced it at 150,000 euros.” In Moscow experts and dealers elaborate. According to Yevgeny Zyablov, chairman of the board of Art Consulting in Moscow, “five to seven years ago, when market activity was higher, just his graphic works were estimated from $50,000 to $100, 000. We’ve had to face Chashnik fakes before – we were running into incorrect attribution. It’s very easy to forge. If there are no pigments which can be dated in the graphics, it is very difficult to say something without a clear provenance. Getting the old paper is not a problem. The origin of the work is impossible to date.”

Yekaterina Kartseva, co-owner and founder of Privatecollections.ru , adds: “If someone wants to fake something it is likely that they will use the big names like Costakis.”

In the Tajan catalogue for an auction of modern art on March 8, two works of Chashnik were offered for sale. One of them, an oil, had never been known to exist before, and carried no date of origin or chain of pownership or provenance. It was put on the block with an estimated price range of €18,000 and €20,000. The drawing (see lead image) was estimated by Cohn and the Tajan sales management in the range of €12,000 and €15,000. The story of the oil, and of the bigger business of falshak, can be read in this report of earlier this week.

According to Tajan’s publication of the auction results, neither Chashnik work, Lots 46 and 47, sold.

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Source: http://www.tajan.com

That was on March 8. On April 12, Cohn (below, left) emailed to say: ‘these artworks have been sold on March, the 8th. We don’t have any other artworks by this artist for the moment.” Cohn and the supervising director of the specialist departments at Tajan, Jean-Jacques Wattel (right), have declined several requests to clarify what happened to the Chashnik works.

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Experts on Chashnik’s circle of artists and on Chashnik himself, reading the report on Russian falshak this week, have responded that they doubt the authenticity of both Chashnik pieces. If they were genuine, said one, they were being priced too cheaply.

The authenticating expert for the Chashnik works cited by Tajan, Alexandre Arzamastsev, is not known in Moscow, according to art market sources. Arzamastsev has refused to respond to questions to identify himself, clarify his expertise, and confirm the published claims about the Chashniks.

In Thessaloniki, Maria Tsantsanoglou is the director of the State Museum of Contemporary Art. Educated at the Moscow Lomonosov University and an expert on Russian futurism and Russian avant-garde of the early 20th century, she says the forgery of the avant-garde painters is “a painful story”.

Tsantsanoglou

Tsantsanoglou (above) said that just days before last month’s Tajan auction, the Chashnik drawing “came to our notice. Such work never belonged to the Costakis collection. This was a false provenance. On March 5, the daughter of George Costakis sent the following message to the auction house: ‘Dear Madame, It has come to my attention that on March 8 your company will auction lot no. 46, Ilya Tchachnik (1902- 1929) Projet d’un architectone, vers 1925/1927, provenance of which is attributed to Costakis Collection, Athens. I have to inform you that this particular piece has never belonged to my late father’s collection. I demand that you remove the false provenance asap and send me written documentation which proves the above. Otherwise I will take legal actions against your company… Aliki Kostaki.’”

Tsantsanoglou says she was led to believe “the false provenance was removed the next day. We have no idea of whether the drawing that was attributed to Ilya Chashnik was sold or not.”

In fact, the Chashnik drawing is still on the Tajan website, attributed to the Costakis Collection, and certified by Arzamastsev. Ahead of publication this morning Paris time, Wattel and Cohn were asked “to explain the circumstances of the false provenance and what appears to be the false certificate by your expert, Mr Arzamastsev.” They have not answered.

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Кто хочет профессора?

Originally posted by dmitrykolosov at Кто хочет профессора?
Ну не то чтобы его самого, но частичку его творческого наследия. Очень неплохие работы профессоров Академии художеств появились среди предложений галереи ЛенаАрт http://lenart.info/lot/. Глупо убеждать неподготовленную публику, что работы продаются не дорого, что художники хорошие и такого предложения больше не будет. Потом напишу как-нибудь статейку о том, почему в доме нужны картины.

Константин Иванович Рудаков



Николай Александрович Павлов