Saturday, April 07, 2018

Agnes Martin Authentication Suit Dismissed

Story here.  Background here.

Artnet's Eileen Kinsella says "that exhalation you just heard is the sound of art authentication boards and catalogue raisonn√© authors across the country breathing a sigh of relief."  Yale's Will Goetzmann tweets:  "Landmark decision granting art historians freedom of speech!!!!! Finally some rationality."

While it's certainly good news for artist foundations, keep in mind it's one decision by one lower court (which will probably be appealed).  The best part of the decision for those folks is that the court enforced the legal fees provision in the plaintiff's agreement with the authentication committee:  the next person contemplating bringing such a suit will have to think about not just the possibility of losing, but also of having to pay the foundation's legal fees if they do.  (But given the existence of these clauses in the first place, that's probably something they should have been thinking about all along.)