Georgina Adam has more on that ring of German forgeries estimated to be 400 works made to look like the work of Russian avant-garde artists. The forgers worked out of Germany but had ties to an Israeli and were able to place the works in Spanish, German and Swiss collections. We may never know the extent of the fakery.
It may be a coincidence, but a conservator who spoke to me under condition of anonymity recalls being called in to examine avant-garde Russian works in 2010. “I saw about 200 in Zurich,” he says: “There were all the big names there, such as Goncharova, Malevich, Kandinsky, Jawlensky and Larionov, and it surprised me to see such a major line-up. There was something similar about the group, the way they had been ‘patched’ [small repairs] and the way they had aged.” He says the client referred to his reports as “certificates”, although he pointed out they were only condition reports; he also strongly recommended a specialist in the period examine the works for authentication. Perhaps more will emerge when the case comes to court – in about six months’ time, say the police.
The Art Market: Law of Supply and Demand (Financial Times)