Authentication of pictures by numbers automatic translate
When the Belgian Auction House wanted last year to put up for auction one of the paintings of Gerhard Richter, his representatives contacted the archive of the German artist in Dresden to test the work. They did not need any expert opinions or complex analyzes, in order to determine the authenticity of the picture, it was only necessary to name the number written on its back.
Richter numbered all his paintings and sculptures consistently, so when the canvas number was transferred to the artist’s archive, it turned out that the picture does not match the description, which means that it is fake.
Given that the last two decades, prices for works of contemporary art are steadily growing, the stakes in disputes over the authenticity of works are getting higher. The large foundations of artists like Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Jean-Michel Basquiat have disbanded their identity authentication departments because of costly litigation. Richter managed to avoid these problems by simply numbering all his works.
The artist began a detailed account of his paintings and sculptures in 1962 after he moved to West Germany. He assigned number 1 to his painting «Table», thus drawing a line under all the works he wrote in the GDR. Richter began to keep a simple and detailed record of all his works. (The exception is his «Elbe» series of 1957, which was included in the list of his completed works only in 2002). Archives of Gerhard Richter was created in Dresden in 2006, its work is based on six volumes of catalogs published by Hatje Cantz. Moreover, the basis of the new publication was the preliminary catalogs written by the artist himself in 1986 and 1993.
Hans-Ulrich Obrist, who organized the Richter exhibition at Fondation Beyeler, in Basel (runs until September 7th), says that such a thorough systematization was in the nature of the artist. Richter cataloged his works only when he was completely sure that they were finished. About these paintings, the artist said that they are like grown-up children, and now, they will live their own lives. However, in circulation there are works not signed by the painter. The reason for this is simple - the master was dissatisfied with their quality, and refused to contribute to their catalogs.
Nevertheless, today, Richter’s paintings enjoy the greatest confidence among buyers, as their authenticity is elementary proved and there is no doubt. It would be nice if the Richter method was adopted by modern artists who have already achieved recognition, or just going to it.