Artist family says Knoedler sold fake works it was warned about #art

The list of possibly forged works sold by Knoedler and its former president, Ann Freedman, grows as the family of the late artist Richard Diebenkorn says that the gallery sold drawings that it had been warned were fakes. As I detail in today’s New York Times:

A few months after the abstract painter Richard Diebenkorn died in 1993 his family visited Knoedler & Company, the gallery on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that had long been his dealer. His wife, Phyllis; his daughter, Gretchen; and an art scholar went to see two gouache drawings that the gallery had recently acquired and that it hoped to sell as works from Diebenkorn’s celebrated Ocean Park series.

The disputed drawing attributed to Diebenkorn

What happened at the meeting nearly two decades ago is now a matter of dispute, one that has only grown in significance as the gallery, once venerable and now closed, battles accusations that it sold many works of modern art that were actually sophisticated forgeries.

The Diebenkorn family says it made it plain that day, before the drawings were sold, that it suspected the drawings were fakes.

“They didn’t look quite right, and we said, ‘The provenance is wacky and the story behind the provenance makes no sense,’ ” said Richard Grant, the artist’s son-in-law and the executive director of the Diebenkorn Foundation.

The gallery and its former president, Ann Freedman, say the family embraced the drawings as legitimate.”

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