Art Law Report

Making Sense of the Peter Doig Trial and the Authentication Fallout

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on August 25, 2016 at 11:36 AM

As was reported in detail by the New York Times and others earlier this week, artist Peter Doig prevailed in what most agree was the strangest art related trial in many years. In a nutshell, Doig was accused by a former corrections officer from Canada of falsely denying authorship of a painting in the plaintiff's possession, such that (according to the plaintiff), the painting lost all value.  The case was, and still is, a real problem for artists for many reasons.  Among them is that in a world of fakes and forgeries, a living artist could find him or herself the target of a shakedown.  It also spotlights yet another gap in the kind of rights that the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) was perhaps intended to protect.  Given the vehemence of the opinion finding in Doig's favor, do not be surprised to see a motion for attorney's fees by Doig arguing that the case was brought in bad faith.

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Topics: authentication, Peter Doig, peter Bartlow, Robert Fletcher

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