Forget the heavy breathing in Vanity Fair’s headline. Forget the well-known backstory of the various efforts to make sense of Amadeo Modigliani’s output. Milton Esterow’s story reminds us that this Fall will be a another opportunity for Modigliani-mania.
Meanwhile, the market is only beginning to try to come up with alternatives to a traditional catalogue raisonné as a means to tell a real Modigliani from a fake one:
Starting this fall, experts will examine dozens of Modiglianis now in museums to learn more about how he created his works. Leading the way is a committee of prominent curators and conservators that will test the 27 paintings and three sculptures in French museums. “It’s a work in progress,” Jeanne-Bathilde Lacourt, a member of the committee (Kenneth Wayne is another) and the curator of modern art at the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art, told me. “We expect to finish the testing by the end of 2018 or early 2019. By then, I think, we will know a lot more about Modigliani’s methods.”
Next November, the Tate Modern, in London, will open “Modigliani,” the largest show of his work ever held in England. It will run through spring 2018 and include about 90 of his paintings, drawings, and sculptures, works borrowed from museums and collectors in six countries. “The purpose of the exhibition is to show Modigliani’s personal and creative development, to introduce Modigliani to a new generation and indicate how relevant he is now,” Nancy Ireson, co-organizer of the show, told me. […] Before it opens, the Tate will subject its three Modigliani paintings and its one Modigliani sculpture to testing and analysis. The Courtauld Institute, in London, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Guggenheim Museum, which are lending works to the exhibition, have already indicated that they will closely examine their own Modiglianis. Other institutions may do the same.
The Tate Modern show will follow closely on the heels of “Modigliani Unmasked,” which is devoted to the artist’s early work and will run at the Jewish Museum in New York through the fall and winter. Mason Klein, a curator at the museum who is organizing the show, told me that it will include about 150 works, mainly drawings from the collection of Dr. Paul Alexandre, who from 1907 until 1914 was Modigliani’s principal buyer and his closest friend.
The Art Market’s Modigliani Forgery Epidemic (Vanity Fair)