Constable ‘copy’ is actually a £2 million original

A landscape painting, which previously sold for £35,000 has been authenticated as an original from the brush of English Romantic painter John Constable and valued at around £2 million.

Gloucestershire businessman, Henry Reid, purchased the rendition of Willy Lott’s Cottage on the River Stour from art dealer and BBC Fake or Fortune? presenter Philip Mould in 2000. At the time, Mould was just beginning his career as a dealer. Continue reading

London’s Mayor Gallery suing committee over authentication decision

Once again authentication is the hot-button art issue of the day as it was revealed London’s Mayor Gallery is suing an authentication committee for refusing to declare 13 works by Agnes Martin as genuine.

On 17 October, the gallery filed suit in New York state court against Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonné LLC and members of its authentication committee. The Mayor Gallery claims the committee wrongly refused to authenticate the works which were submitted by four of its clients. Its refusal effectively rendered the pieces “worthless” since neither Sotheby’s nor Christie’s auction houses will sell works by Martin unless they are included in the catalogue raisonné. Continue reading

Victory for artists as Peter Doig authentication trial comes to an end

In what has been deemed a victory for artists’ and their “unfettered right” to authenticate their own work, the Federal District Court for Northern Illinois yesterday (23 August) ruled in favour of Scottish figurative painter Peter Doig.

As we reported on 11 August, Doig was being sued for US$5 million (£3.8 million) by the owner of a painting for failing to authenticate it as his own work. Former corrections officer Robert Fletcher claimed Doig created the work as a teenager while incarcerated at the Thunder Bay Correction Center in Canada and sold it to him for US$100 (£76.70). When Fletcher attempted to sell the disputed painting with Chicago art dealer Peter Bartlow, Doig denied authorship of the painting and consequently the US$10 million (£7.6 million) price tag it would have carried at auction. Doig insisted that the work’s true creator was another artist, Peter Edward Doige, and in a statement, he criticised Fletcher and Bartlow for having “shamelessly tried to deny another artist his legacy for money”. Continue reading

Another artist estate ceases authentication activities

The Art Newspaper reports that the estate of Brazil’s most expensive artist, Lygia Clark, has stopped their authentication activities because of legal proceedings.

Clark, who was born in 1920 and died in Rio de Janeiro in 1988, is known for being a founding member of the Neo-Concrete movement in the late 1950s. Her legacy is looked after by her two sons and their grandchildren. The foundation is called ‘The World of Lygia Clark’, whose objectives, it says on its website, is to promote her life and work, as well as researching, certifying and authenticating her work. Continue reading