Friday, July 31, 2015

Not an authentic authentication issue

Been meaning to comment on the recent hubbub about Gerhard Richter deciding to exclude certain early works from his forthcoming catalogue raisonne.  Some people are talking about this as if it were another "authentication" issue, but I don't think that's quite right.  There's no question that these works -- made from 1962 to 1968, when he apparently "experimented with a realistic, figurative painting style" -- were painted by Richter.  There's no question of their "authenticity"; they are not fakes.  He just doesn't think they're any good, or worthy of consideration as part of his development.  It seems to me he has every right to make that judgment ... and collectors and others who like the work have every right to disagree.  Who knows -- the market may, someday, side with them.  But in any case it's not a question of authenticity.