The greatest forger of all time? (ctd.)

April 23 2014

Image of The greatest forger of all time? (ctd.)

Picture: NY Times

US prosecutors have now decided to charge the artist who made a string of fakes sold by the now-closed Knoedler gallery in New York. Pei-Shen Qian (above) made over 60 paintings and drawings to order for Gloria Rosales, the dealer who claimed to have 'discovered' previously lost works by the likes of Pollock, Rothko, Motherwell and Diebenkorn, but who has since pleaded guilty to operating a fake scam.

However, it seems Mr. Qian is now safely holed up in China, which has no extradition treaty with the US. 

The New York Times reports:

Mr. Qian’s home in Queens, which was searched by the F.B.I., yielded an intriguing collection of materials, the indictment says, including “books on Abstract Expressionist artists and their techniques; auction catalogs containing works by famous American Abstract Expressionist artists; paints, brushes, canvases and other materials, including an envelope of old nails marked ‘Mark Rothko.’ ” [...]

Efforts to reach Mr. Qian [...] were unsuccessful on Monday. Mr. Qian, in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek in December, said he had no idea his work was being sold as the real thing, calling the case “a very big misunderstanding.” He said he had been told his paintings were being sold to art lovers who could not afford works by the masters.

Mr. Qian was [also] charged with lying to F.B.I. agents during an interview last June, when he said he did not recognize Ms. Rosales’s name, had never painted in the style of Jackson Pollock or Barnett Newman, and did not recognize the names Richard Diebenkorn, Mark Rothko or Sam Francis.

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