Warhol Authentication Board Gets Tough

Earlier this week a brief report from Stockholm’s The Local closed the long-running debate over some Warhol Brillo boxes that found their way into prominent collections as well as the Moderna Museet:

In a final report from the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board in the USA it has been concluded that the works were mass produced in Skåne in southern Sweden in 1990 at the request of the museum’s former head Pontus Hultén. [...] The Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board, as well as two auction houses and the Andy Warhol Foundation, declined to comment on the case but have now confirmed once and for all that the Brillo boxes were indeed not the work of the famed pop-artist, who died in 1987.

The Guardian ran a very long re-cap of the Brillo boxes in August with this combative statement from the Authentication Board:

But the gist is this: there will be no settlements with anyone. And what he wants Joe Simon especially to know is that he is coming after him. He will never back down. And, should they lose, he will force them to pay every cent of the foundation’s legal bills. Given that Wachs has hired David Boies, one the most expensive trial lawyers in the world, the bill, for pre-trial hearings alone, is estimated to run into more than £2.6m of Warhol’s money.

The trial, which is expected to start this winter, will not be restricted to the Red Series. It will also scrutinise the Brillo affair and many more of the board’s decisions – including the recent authentication of thousands of works that it appears were never seen or approved by Warhol. One of them is an unsigned, un-numbered Marilyn print, put up for sale by Sotheby’s in 2008. Slated for sale at between $30,000 and $50,000, this work has on its reverse three separate markings made by the foundation and the board.

Warhol’s Box of Tricks (Guardian)

Brillo Boxes Confirmed as Fakes (The Local)