International attention has come to the fact that much avant-garde art being shown in museums around the world is of questionable authenticity.
International attention has come to the fact that much avant-garde art being shown in museums around the world is of questionable authenticity. Recently, all 24 Russian avant-garde works loaned by the Dieleghem Foundation to the Museum voor Schone Kunsten (MSK) in Ghent have been noted as being undeterminedly genuine. Prompted by this discovery, ArtDependence reached out to the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany to inquire about their Russian avant-garde holdings.
ArtDependence: How is the Museum Ludwig addressing the issue of authenticity in your art collection of the avant-garde period?
Museum Ludwig: In recent decades, previously unknown works by Russian avant-garde artists have come onto the art market. These include numerous counterfeits and/or misattributions. Every collector and institution must be aware of this problem. The Museum Ludwig and the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation have taken a proactive approach to this problem since the Malevich exhibition in 2010. The collection is undergoing a critical reassessment as part of a research project that has been ongoing since 2010. The aim of the project, which has also been cooperating with the Russian Avant-Garde Research Project for the past year, is to be able to provide a serious and conclusive assessment on the basis of all currently available scientific possibilities. The results of the research project supported by the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation will be presented to the general public in 2020 as part of a special exhibition and a detailed publication.
ArtDependence: Is the museum concerned about exhibiting or having exhibited works of indeterminate legitimacy?
Museum Ludwig: The paintings and sculptures exposed are works correctly attributed. Still we might do some more material and art historical research as we are not only researching the right attribution but also contextual information about the working process, materials used, etc. We might take works back from the museum wall into the lab and swap them with others.
Image on top: Museum Ludwig and Cologne cathedral at night ©Thomas Robbin
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