David D’Arcy went to IFAR’s panel last week conducting a “post-mortem” on the Knoedler forgeries. It appears that one of the lessons to be learned from the whole affair is that few want to learn any lessons.
To sneer and mock the buyers of these fakes may make the crowd feel superior but it does nothing to explain how so many sophisticated buyers were eager to acquire these fakes. Nor does it explain why so many experts believed they were real—or were sufficiently in doubt to hesitate.
The capacity crowd at times laughed out loud at the post-mortem, sneering at how many clues there were that something was off at Knoedler: Paintings looked wrong, experts hesitated about accepting them as authentic (although some experts approved), Knoedler tried to suppress scientific research that raised serious questions, ever-changing provenances seemed wildly dubious and Jackson Pollock’s signature was written “Pollok” on one canvas.