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Intent to Deceive: Fakes and Forgeries in the Art World

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1/1/2014 - 9/1/2015
Organizing institution: International Arts & Artists

This Exhibition includes the following Venues:
  • Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield Museums, Springfield, MA 1/21/2014 - 4/27/2014
  • John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL 5/23/2014 - 8/2/2014
  • Canton Museum of Art, Canton, OH 8/28/2014 - 10/26/2014
  • Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OK 2/13/2015 - 5/10/2015

This ground-breaking exhibition spotlights some of the world's most notorious con artists, illuminating their dubious legacies, and examining how their talents, charm, and audacity beguiled and assaulted the art world for much of the 20th century through the present day.

Several ingenious forgers of the 20th century are profiled in this exhibition representing some of the most infamous scandals of the century. Han van Meegeren, Elmyr de Hory and Eric Hebborn all shook the art world with their exploits, garnering each of them worldwide notoriety but an untimely death. More recently, John Myatt, and Mark Landis have been in the news for their prolific and stylistically diverse art frauds, landing one in jail.

Included in each forger's profile are their original works, personal effects and ephemera, photographs, film clips, and representations of the material and techniques each used to create these convincing artworks, as well as explanations on how art experts use the latest technology to unveil their fraudulence.

Original works by artists such as Charles Courtney Curran, Honoré Daumier, Raoul Dufy, Philip de Lászlo, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Paul Signac, Maurice de Vlaminck and others are juxtaposed with the art of the world's most accomplished art forgers to test perceptions of authenticity. Discovered is how these criminals plied their trade and perpetrated some of the most spectacular acts of deception in modern times!

The ultimate question proposed within Intent to Deceive one can't help but ask is whether the uncovering of a painting's unpalatable history actually makes it any less of a work of art. Does the discovery of a fake change our relationship with a painting? Admirers and collectors of the work of several contemporary forgers admit that they possess great art, no matter that they are forgeries. The brilliance is notable, and in fact, the murky history makes the work all the more interesting, as it gives it a story. That is the important point illustrated in this exhibition; the works have stories and drama behind them that are as fascinating as the images on their canvases.

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