Fake works of art: the case of the artist Josef Albers

    Fake works of art: the case of the artist Josef Albers

    An Italian art dealer was convicted of trying to sell a counterfeit Josef Albers painting. Let’s find out more!

    Another news related to the fake art market: an Italian art dealer was convicted of trying to sell a fake painting by Josef Albers for € 320,000 ($ 387,000). 

    The work of the famous German painter born at the end of the 19th century and who died in the 70s of the last century, a teacher at the Berlin school of the Bauhaus together with Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, entitled Study for Homage to the Square, belongs to the series created by Albers in 1950.

    The Court of Milan found the art dealer guilty despite claiming that he inherited the painting, which he himself purchased in 1986. However, there is no trace of documents attesting the authenticity and provenance of the work.

    On what basis, then, was the merchant found guilty?

    • The work does not have the necessary documentation that must accompany the sale of a work, therefore the Certificate of Authenticity.
    • The appraisal of the work revealed that both the “technique of applying color” and “the signature” on the work are not compatible with the originals.

    In fact, for the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and its executive director, Nicholas Fox Weber, there is no doubt: this is a fake. Confirmation also comes from the art historian Jeannette Redensek, director of the artist’s catalog raisonné at the Foundation. 

    Indeed, counterfeits have long been a problem for the Albers Foundation, which may not come as a surprise given the deceptive simplicity of execution of Albers’ paintings. On the other hand, a direct examination and authentication issued, in this case, by the Albers Foundation, the artist’s archive, is always required.

    Furthermore, as evidence of the counterfeiting of the work, there would be another proof: previously, in 2016, the work had already been declared false by the director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

    This demonstrates that a verification of the documentation and its updating thanks to technological solutions can be essential to avoid collectors, gallery owners and art dealers from taking risks by verifying in advance and with maximum safety the Due Diligence and Provenance of the works of art before of their buying and selling.

    With Art Rights, a platform to support the archiving activities of the works of artists, collectors, foundations and art professionals, it is possible to create a digital archive of the works, collecting all information, documents and passage in a simple and completely safe way.

    Thanks to Blockchain technology and a sophisticated Validation system by third-party users, Art Rights offers the possibility to create Art Rights Certificates, real Passports of the work of art and to create a Value Chain to protect quality and authenticity. of the work of art.

    Photo Credits: Josef Albers, Homage to the Square (1971) © 2017 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London

     And you, are you ready to avert the risk of running into a fake work of art?

    Start now to manage, certify and boost your art with Art Rights!

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