Thursday, October 20, 2011

Warhol Foundation Gives Up On Authenticating Warhols

The job of saying what work's were truly made by Warhol, has proved too distracting and big even for the very well endowed foundation funded from his estate. Not, to mention contentious since as one can imagine the amount of money at stake.

The Wall Street Journal has a good overview of the story.

Mr. Straus said a recent string of costly legal disputes with collectors contesting the board's findings influenced the board's decision to give up its role as the "final word" on the late artist's creative output.

One of the highest-profile disputes involved a London filmmaker, Joe Simon, who sued the board four years ago after it refused to vouch for his purported Warhol "Self-Portrait."

By the time Mr. Simon dropped his suit last November, the artist's foundation had spent more than $7 million defending the board's ruling, with help from major law firms like Boies, Schiller & Flexner.

Art News has a good down and dirty look at many of the conflicts of interest, and outright criminal acts by some art world insiders.

"Last July, after a lengthy investigation, owners of the so-called “Stockholm boxes” received the authentication board’s report outlining its findings. According to the report, Pontus Hultén, the highly respected director of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, who died in 2006, lied to the board when he told them that an edition of about 105 boxes had been executed in 1968—allegedly with Warhol’s authorization—for a major show at the museum. Based on the false information Hultén provided, the board authenticated 94 of the boxes, and they were included in the 2004 catalogue raisonné."

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