Patricia Cohen has an excellent recap of what we know about the Glafira Rosales-Knoedler fraud cases paying particular attention to the role played by the community of art experts. The Times previously reported on the case of Oliver Wick, a curator who played a role in the attempted sale of more than one Rosales work while he was at the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland. He made $450,000 in fees from both sides of the transaction in the sale of work said to be a Mark Rothko. And Cohen tells us that he also tried to get a Barnett Newman into an institution in Europe (and possibly it was he who was doing the same with a Pollock or two:)
Exhibitions at a prestigious museum like the Beyeler can bolster a work’s value and provenance, and [Knoedler’s] Ms. [Ann] Freedman had previously arranged to display two other paintings provided by Ms. Rosales — both attributed to Rothko — at the Swiss foundation’s gallery. As for the Rosales Newman there, Oliver Wick, a Beyeler curator, had been trying to sell it to a German museum for $18 million on Knoedler’s behalf, according to internal gallery documents.
Mr. Bois’s email, however, spurred two other Beyeler curators, Philippe Buttner and Ulf Küster, to take down the questionable Newman. Mr. Küster told Mr. Buttner in an email: “I had a similar problem with an offer of a Pollock from Knoedler.” […]
Mr. Wick, who left Beyeler last year to join the Kunsthalle Zurich, resigned his curator post there this month. A Kunsthalle spokeswoman said his leaving the museum had nothing to do with the lawsuit. Mr. Wick could not be reached for comment.
Selling a Fake Painting Takes More Than a Good Artist (NYTimes.com)