Australia’s The Age follows the continuing drama and frustration surrounding fake works circulating in the Australian art market. Stephen Nall, who won a Supreme Court case that ordered some fake works attributed to Charles Blackman and Robert Dickerson destroyed, says the Brett Whitely work Orange Lavender Bay is a fake even if it was recently bought for A$1.1m:
”It is a joke and unfortunately there are people in the industry who are in on the joke. If the fakes that are being created are now worth a million dollars it’s clear that the people who are making these fakes have become emboldened. […]
Orange Lavender Bay was sold to Sydney car dealer Steven Nasteski by Melbourne art dealer John Playfoot last year.
Mr Playfoot claims he genuinely believed the painting was authentic and will support a police inquiry. He has agreed to refund Mr Nasteski and will try to recuperate his money from Mr Gant, who was the agent for the painting’s previous, unnamed owner. […]
Two other works attributed to Whiteley and of questionable authenticity are also known to be in circulation – A $2.5 million work titled Big Blue Lavender Bay and another called Lavender Bay Through the Window. The Age understands Big Blue Lavender Bay is being assessed by the University of Melbourne’s forensic art expert Robyn Sloggett.
In the opinion of various experts, including the artist’s widow Wendy Whiteley and Whiteley dealer Stuart Purves, Orange Lavender Bay is a fake.