Saturday, July 09, 2016

The perils of authenticating, part infinity

The NYT's Graham Bowley had a detailed report this week on a fascinating lawsuit in federal court in Illinois:  artist Peter Doig is being sued for denying authorship of a work the owner claims he made as a teenage inmate at a Canadian detention facility.  Doig's motion for summary judgment has been denied, and the case is scheduled for trial next month.

Bowley says "even if the court favors [the owner], it could be a hollow victory. Since the artist himself and the dealer who represents him say it’s not a Doig, the art market is unlikely to assign much value to it, art experts said" -- but if he wins, Doig might have to pay him the value of the painting, which wouldn't be hollow at all.

This is scary stuff.  As Nicholas O'Donnell says in the article, it "put[s] at artists in the cross hairs."  Or as Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento says, "[a] decision against Doig could have shocking consequences for artists."