Authenticating Warhol

Now that we know the Warhol authentication board is dissolving, one of the more intriguing questions is how are his works to be authenticated.  The Art Newspaper recently published a very good article on the topic.  I beleive eventually the void will be filled, but by who or what is the question.

The Art Newspaper reports
Warhol, however, is not just any other artist. He was unbelievably prolific, and the range of his output (and subsequent variety of prices) allows for different types of buying from the high-profile pieces bought by major collectors to newer buyers starting with prints. Warhol is associated with American post-war optimism at its peak, and his iconic subjects and saturated colour schemes have an instant appeal. His name carries a brand power that extends beyond the inner coterie of the market and a strong level of institutional support underpins his reputation, cementing his place in art history.

Meanwhile, the deep private market includes powerful backers such as the Mugrabi family, which owns more than 800 works of art by the artist, and is prepared to invest in the long-term health of the Warhol market: during the 2008-09 downturn, the Mugrabis bought or underbid, on average, on 31% of the total auction value of Warhol paintings, and spent $36.8m on Warhol works at auction in 2010, according to ArtTactic. Jose Mugrabi declined to comment.

There are more than 100,000 works by Warhol (across all media), according to Wachs, who says that only around 6,600 of them have gone through the authentication process. “People put too much emphasis on it—around 95% of Andy’s work is still out there. The market will have to take care of itself.” Perhaps the sheer size of the Warhol market means that, like the banks, it will simply be too big to fail.
To read the complete article, click HERE.

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