The Dark Side of the Boom: The Mass Faking of the Russian Avant Garde
Chapel Arts

The Dark Side of the Boom: The Mass Faking of the Russian Avant Garde

Sat 23rd Oct

This Event Takes Place @ Chapel Arts, Cheltenham (Chapel Arts, Knapp Road (Near St. James Square), Cheltenham. GL50 3QQ)

The Russian Avant Garde movement contained some of the greatest names of its generation - Malevich, Chagall, Kandinsky, and countless others blazed a trail through Art History for an all-too brief period. With their creativity stunted by the advent of the Socialist Realism in 1932, their work disappeared – only to re-emerge in the early 1970’s. With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a flood of newly discovered works appeared on the Western and domestic markets of which the vast majority had neither verifiable provenance nor exhibition history; their authenticity supported only by documents from now discredited Russian and Western art historians and erroneous certificates of chemical expertise.  This scandal reached a crescendo in Jan 2018 with an exhibition of 24 dubious works of the period at the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts.  In this talk, James Butterwick examines the background behind the mass faking of the Russian Avant Garde, the history of these dubious paintings, universally rejected by museums and the art market, as well as the methods used to ‘create’ authenticity.

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