The Authentication Committee of the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat will disband in September, according to a Jan. 7 message on the estate’s web site:
“The Authentication Committee has been in existence for eighteen years and has reviewed over 2,000 works of art. It believes that it has fulfilled its goal of providing the public with an opportunity to obtain an opinion as to the authenticity of works purportedly created by Jean-Michel Basquiat. The Committee wishes to take this opportunity to thank all the people who worked on its behalf.”
Alexander Calder, the Pennsylvania-born sculptor who died in 1976, is, it’s safe to say, one of New York’s, and the world’s, better known artists. One of his famous abstract mobiles turns meditatively near the high ceiling in Terminal 4 at JFK, a balm to weary travelers. A signature stabile sculpture is parked in front of Lincoln Center. And the piece of his that is likely most revered by children, his circus made from tiny puppets constructed out of humble materials like wire, cork and string, just went back on view at the Whitney Museum, complete with a film of the artist manipulating the dolls into action.
On Wednesday last week, Knoedler & Co., one of the oldest and most prestigious art galleries in the country, abruptly announced that it would no longer be open for business, “effective immediately.”
On Friday, The New York Times wrote an article about a federal investigation of “expert forgeries” of artists Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell, many of which came to the market through an art dealer from Long Island, Glafira Rosales. In several cases, these works were eventually sold through Knoedler by its former president, Ann Freedman. She resigned her post in 2009 amid accusations by the Dedalus Foundation–started by Motherwell to protect his work–that some of the works sold by the gallery were forgeries.
Knoedler is not implicated in the federal investigation, but on Friday a London collector sued the gallery and Ms. Freedman for selling him an allegedly forged Pollock for $17 million.