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Abstract Silkscreens

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  • Art4fun
    started a topic Abstract Silkscreens

    Abstract Silkscreens

    I have a couple of abstract silkscreen prints that are not what they appear to be. The subject matter and the signature in the prints lead you to believe that they are from a well known artist. However in checking the body of the artists work I have found that there are no known original artworks for these prints. I have done a lot of research and here is what I know. The 2 prints are identical for the image pattern and size with the exception of the signatures and title. The framed print appears to be a proof as it is of much higher quality in workmanship, and materials. Neither print is hand signed, just signed in the print. Both prints have been produced by silkscreen. I have been able to track the framed print to Philadelphia 1946-1959, with the most likely time period being 1950-1959. The un-framed print I have not been able to track, but it visually appears to be about the same age. The framed print is roughly 11" x 33" and is printed on museum board that is about 0.170" thick. It seems fairly certain that these prints are some type of forgeries and herein lies my question(s). This style of artwork was not particularly well received among the general public in the 1950-1960 time period. So why would someone create forgeries of something that wasn't popular? The prints are not made to appear as originals, and in checking for several years I have only been able to find 3 copies, my 2 + 1 other, but I would suspect that there are others, so I don't see a financial incentive for these forgeries either in volume or as originals. Also the silkscreen process is a rather slow and expensive way to produce forgeries. I am left with a big question as to why these prints may have been produced, and who may have created them. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Click image for larger version

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  • Art4fun
    replied
    I appreciate your rationale and in general would tend to agree with you that they were produced as sellable decorative work, except for a couple of nagging questions. The cutouts don't seem to have much popularity among the general population in the USA until the late 1960's, There are only 2 exhibitions I am aware of with any focus on the cutouts in the USA prior to 1960, the Jazz exhibition at the Matisse gallery in New York, 1949 I believe, and an exhibition in 1952/1953 in New York, Chicago, & San Francisco that was heavily focused on his sculpture but did include 10 of the cutout works. Why create decorative works for a style that is only appreciated among a relatively small group of art lovers. And then why print an image that wasn't created by Matisse and sign it in the print to create the illusion that it was a Matisse? I can see the financial opportunity if the prints had a hand signature to add value, or if there was a high volume of prints made, but there is no hand signature and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of volume produced. I know copyright wasn't as heavily enforced as now, and people will always try to make a buck, so why not just print copies of a known Matisse cutout that already had some recognition, if you are to make a print with a Matisse signature included?

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    Guest replied
    These are categorised as in the naive genre with a whisper of Matisse colour palette which was popular by way of his cut outs. So to my mind they were produced as Sellable decrotive work as this was popular in the mid to late 1950 's. Before Pop Art swelled the art world in the 1960:s.

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