Dueling documentaries take aim at one of the biggest scams in recent art history

A high-profile Knoedler case settled in 2016 just before the former director Ann Freedman could give evidence at trialIllustration: Elizabeth Williams

More than three years have passed since a high-profile trial in New York offered a glimpse behind the scenes of a forgery scandal that rocked the Knoedler Gallery, which closed in 2011 after selling dozens of Modernist fakes painted by an artist who fled to China. But there is still interest in the case—perhaps because so many details remain unknown—and three documentary film-makers are vying to release productions that examine the scam.

The self-funded and thoroughly researched feature Driven to Abstraction by Daria Price is already finished and in search of a distributor. “In approaching people to participate, I often found the same resistance, secrecy, and desire to distance themselves, the same lack of transparency in the art market that allowed the hoax to flourish for almost 15 years,” Price says. The film, which covers Knoedler’s closing and the three-week 2016 trial (and includes interviews with The Art Newspaper writers) has been praised by viewers—but so far mostly in a stack of rejection letters from festivals.

Another documentary, which does not yet have a title but does have a publicist, is due to be completed later this year, says its Canadian director, Barry Avrich. 

Read full report at: theartnewspaper.com/news/dueling-documentaries-take-aim-at-the-knoedler-forgery-scandal


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