the man his art On the experts Fakes & Forgeries On the market
from Born to Venice Drawings Past experts Myth and reality on his fakes The market
Arrival to Paris Sculpture Catalogues done in the past Famous forgers trust in the market?
Becoming an artist Painting Actual /Living experts known and undoubted fakes Auctions & Modigliani
on the path All the attributed works Catalogues of actual experts how to detect a fake Galleries & Museums
The artist Exhibitions during his lifetime How should an expertise must be done what to do with forgeries and forgers Famous collectors fromt the past to actual times
The myth Exhibitions until today News on the experts Art Historians, a trustable source? News on the market
Selected bibliography on him News on his art References  and Bibliography on the experts references on fakes & forgeries references & links on the market


Even more darker and obscure than the Auctions.

Here it becomes a person to person exchange so it's very difficult to see commercial galleries with Modigliani works for sale in open view.

In any case they are in my opinion and after watching the mess with Knoedler & Co. some of the most dangerous parts in the art world (auctions suffer from public exposure, but what happens inside a gallery, stays in...)



On Modigliani, only a few deal in that high rank as to be able to sell works undoubted, on them the main is the Nahmad Gallery.

So during my investigation, I contacted them (Nahmad Gallery in NY) to ask for help in my research and to obtain samples of pigments from their works my conversation was:

NG: Ok this Modigliani seems to be fine, but we can't help you.
ME: Why not?
NG: Because we do not need to be part of the studio.
ME: But you will get a complete studio of yours for free and with total confidentiality.
NG: Yes, but not interested...
ME: C' mon please...
NG: Sorry, the only thing I can tell you is that if you tried to sell me this beautiful work I would not accept it even if you bring a photo of Modigliani next to the painting, original invoice by the artist or even a letter by him saying it's original.
ME: for god sake...
NG:Sorry that the way the thing are at this moment, maybe in a few years they change...
( that was exactly what I was trying to do...)
ME: Ok Thank you anyway.
NG: Sorry, wish u luck. bye

To know more on the Nahmad gallerie, just look at this nice links:

1.- Helly Nahmad Gallery Raided by FBI in Russian Mob Probe (ARTFLIX DAILY, 18/04/2013)..................LINK

2.- Agents Descend on a New York Gallery, Charging Its Owner (NEW YORK TIMES, 16/04/2013)........LINK


Similar conversation with other 4 ones...

CONCLUSSION:

Sad but real, they are doing business, they don't want to know nothing of any possible risk.

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A few more examples to trust in the commercial galleries:

Kenny Schachter is a prominent collector and dealer. But he brilliantly sees the satire lying right below the surface of Greg Smith’s resignation letter—published in the New York Times—from Goldman Sachs.

TODAY is my last day at Gagosian Gallery. After almost 12 years at the gallery — first as a summer intern in Los Angeles, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
To put the problem in the simplest terms,
the interests of the collectors continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money.

Why I Am Leaving Gagosian
March 20, 2012 By Kenny Schachter

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German police believe American actor, Steve Martin may have been a victim in what is being called the biggest art fraud scam in that country’s history.

A report in the German newspaper Der Spiegel says investigators at Berlin’s state criminal police office (LKA) believe that in July 2004 Martin unwittingly purchased a fake copy of Landschaft mit Pferden, (Landscape with Horses), a 1915 painting by the German-Dutch modernist Heinrich Campendonk, from a Paris gallery, Cazeau-Béraudière.

He paid an estimated €700,000 (around $850,000 at the time), after receiving assurances of the painting’s authenticity from a Campendonk expert, who identified the artist’s signature in a panel on the back of the painting. At that price, Martin’s acquisition was considered a bargain.

Steve Martin paid $850,000 for fake painting, report says

Read More on this fakes scandal >>


This is exactly the same gallery owner that worked during 2 decades for the Wildenstein that said in an interview the next sentence:

"I prefer to have a Modigliani painting that once hung in the apartment of Paul Guilliaume than a painting in Ceroni" >>

" 20 years after Marc Restellini's catalogue is published, everybody will forget Ceroni" >>

What an eye...

2nd Worst both at Tefaf / not my opinion is the opinion of Blouin Artinfo:

The booth of Jacques de la Béraudière (Geneva) was approached with caution by potential buyers. Formerly named Galerie Cazeau-Béraudière, the gallery had been involved in the Beltracchi-scandal, which uncovered a number of faked paintings, including a work by Max Ernst, “Tremblement de la Terre” (1925), which had been shown on TEFAF in 2004.

The solution to the scandal: change your name and go on...
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Man with a cane, went to auction in 2008 in Sothebys NY with an estimated of 18m to 25m USD.
Sotheby's, NY, Nov. 2008
Sale N08485 - Lot 26

The result was UNSOLD (Bought in)
Quite expensive at that time, but it didn't sold because of price? or by another possible reason?

Billionaire refuses to return $25m Modigliani masterpiece stolen by Nazis
from Jewish art dealer - Dailymail, November 2011

Man Demands Nazi-Looted Modigliani
Courthouse news service, November 2011

Part of the Nahmad collection.
Is it possible the claim was already in the knowledge of the gallery owners previously to send the work to auction?
Mr Dowd of the law firm Dunnington, Bartholow and Miller said Maestracci (the owner that made the claim) made repeated requests to Nahmad to return the painting, but received no replies.
'They didn't answer despite us writing to them repeatedly’, he said.

Ceroni nº 252
Seated Man with a Cane
1918
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A few months ago the most respected art gallery all over the world (165 years in the market) had to close from one day to the next, the reason: Sold fakes worth more than 50 millions bearing names so reputed and studied as Pollock, Rothko, Motherwell and so on...

Use this example to the rest, don´t you think that even the most respected art gallery or auction house wouldn't be sensible or be "mistaken" by a forger or by another dealer?

The only way to be sure that gold is gold is to scratch the surface and then use a chemical reaction liquid then you can be sure you bought gold, well in art is the same but with even more precautions , but Art market stills looking to another side:


If you think that you can trust a dealer, read a little on the Knoedler & Co. scandal and discover how amazingly stupid can be the art market (when is based only in connoisseurs, experts and "prestige")...

THE KNOEDLER-ROSALES CASE: A DEALER’S DEFENSE

April 2012

EXTRACT:

......Domenico and Eleanore De Sole sued Knoedler and Freedman over an untitled Rothko that they had purchased in 2004 for $8.3 million, which they claim to be counterfeit.
.......................
He said that Freedman “had no reason to doubt Rosales’ integrity.” However, Freedman “did show the works to experts, who stated that they are genuine works” by the artists.

One of those experts was Ernst Beyeler, the celebrated Swiss art dealer who created the Foundation Beyeler outside Basel, and who died in 2010 at age 88. .......
That same purported Rothko was also shown to Laili Nasr, a curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., who had been working for over a decade on a Rothko catalogue raisonne. A letter from Nasr to Freedman, dated Nov. 3, 2003, referred to a recent visit by the curator to Knoedler, where she “especially enjoyed seeing” the Rothko. “It was a real treat.” Nasr noted that “we intend to include a supplementary section to introduce new works on canvas that were discovered since the 1998 publication of the first volume of the catalogue.” She added that if this supplement is published, “we intend to include” the Rosales-sourced Rothko.

Art Law - THE KNOEDLER-ROSALES CASE: A DEALER’S DEFENSE
by Daniel Grant. Artnet, April 2012.

When elegance sold art

FEBRUARY 2012

EXTRACT:

THE sudden closing last fall of the venerable Knoedler gallery marked an end to one of New York’s great private art dealers, part of a cohort that included Duveen, Wildenstein and Durand-Ruel.
To impress their clients, each built a sumptuous art palace, and Knoedler built two.
The French-born Michel Knoedler had been selling art in New York since 1846, and by the 1890s was in an old row house at Fifth Avenue and 34th. In 1905 The Real Estate Record and Guide reported that he had hired McKim, Mead & White to build a new structure.
But, after buying a 50-foot-wide midblock lot on Fifth south of 46th, he retained Carrère & Hastings, which designed 556 Fifth Avenue, finished in 1911.

This was the era when collectors shifted their focus to old masters, which dealers gave very contemporary prices. Knoedler’s new limestone building had the aspect of an Italian palazzo, but one that you might find in London in the early 1800s. The stone walls of the magnificent ground floor were vermiculated, shot through with wormlike trails, completely au courant for Fifth Avenue.

On June 14, 1918, the art dealer René Gimpel wrote in his diary, perhaps enviously, that the gallery offered a broad selection: “You’re looking for an engraving for $5 that you’d find on the quays for five sous? You’ll get it here.

When Elegance sold art
New York Times, 8th March 2012
a very interesting and clarifying article on the Scandal and how dirty they work...
Vanity fair, May 2012

1.- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Knoedler Forgery Debacle .......... LINK
2.- GLG's Lagrange Says Knoedler Sold $17 Million Fake Pollock................................... LINK
3.- Just-Closed 165-Year-Old Upper East Side Gallery Sued for Selling Fakes.............LINK
4.- 165-Year-Old Knoedler & Company Gallery Closes Suddenly .....................................LINK
5.- Motherwell Painting Declared A Forgery...........................................................................LINK
6.- Art dealers accused of selling fake Motherwells ...........................................................LINK
7.- Possible Forging of Modern Art Is Investigated...............................................................LINK

If this can happen to probably the must respected and reputed one, go on and trust the rest...

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In the past they were the same or worst:

Take a look to Knoedler & Co (remember: the most prestigious one, until this year was closed for fakes, but it seems that it was nothing new to the house).

A rich man bought his Modigliani Prize for the living room to match with his wife and poodles, of course he wanted quality so he went to Knoedler (you know, only the best) and guess what? it was a fake.

Do you think he got his money back? NOOOOO.

Read it here...

This one is very funny, Frank Perls was the main dealer and resource for Modigliani works in America during the 50's and 60's.
Look what happened to Frank Perls + the Metropolitan museum, I do not say this is not an original, but there are so many doubts that it even requires to get a little investigation for it:
Link to the article: LINK
Link to the page in the Met museum: LINK

LINK to a similar case in Perls history ( it is not by Modigliani, it was by Giacometti) :

And more:

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So then you can go on and trust the "most" reputed gallery...
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