Friday, September 22, 2023

Another Art Foundation Facing Authentication Lawsuit?

The Mayor Gallery of London has filed a lawsuit against the Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonne, Arnold Glimcher, a close friend and expert on the artist, and members of the Foundation’s Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonne “Authentication Committee.” The action alleges that Defendants unlawfully declared thirteen Agnes Martin artworks are fake, claiming they are in fact authentic. The gallery asserts a loss of more than $7 million.

Oddly, the complaint claims that art foundations “authenticate” works when in fact many foundations, including the Warhol Foundation and the Calder Foundation, have ceased authenticating art works. Many foundations have faced similar lawsuits based on allegations similar to the ones here; that “a refusal by defendants to include an artwork in the Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonne is therefore recognized in the worldwide marketplace as a conclusive statement that the artwork is fake.”

To begin the process of submitting a work to the Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonne, a collector submits an “Examination Agreement” and investigation by the “Authentication Committee” begins. When Plaintiff submitted the “Examination Agreement” for the works in question, they were refused. Plaintiff’s attorney asked for an explanation about the rejection, but were not provided with one. The complaint asserts that the Foundation’s rejection of the works dubs them fakes to the art world.


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