Georgina Adam has some news of the Modigliani market where warring catalogues raisonné are trying to find a footing in a field of crumbling authority and scholarly missteps.
The Restellini project, once financed by the Wildensteins but no longer, will issue a paintings catalogue online this year with drawings to follow. The project is financed by fees for certificates of authenticity.
But Adam announces another perhaps more scientifically based cataloguing project:
No fewer than five authors have penned catalogues raisonnés of the paintings, but only one is accepted by most auction houses: that of Ambrogio Ceroni, last updated in 1972. But it has its gaps, partly because Ceroni listed only what he had seen, and he never went to the US.
Now, a new non-profit organisation, the Modigliani Project, has been founded by the respected scholar Kenneth Wayne, who has been studying the artist for 30 years. He has joined up with an impressive group of French curators and conservators, including Brigitte Léal, the deputy director of the Centre Pompidou; Sophie Krebs, the chief curator of the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris; and Cécile Girardeau, a curator at the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris. The project leader is Michel Menu, the chief conservator of the Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France, Paris.
For now, their focus is to clarify Modigliani’s technique and working methods through scientific analysis, firstly examining works in French public collections, then extending to those in other countries.
Experts shed light on Modigliani’s murky market with new research project (The Art Newspaper)