English translation of the article about Ms. Patricia Railing and the “InCoRM” published on January 27 « Désinformation, suite »
Following various texts disseminated through the internet where the “president” of the “InCoRM” group vehemently supports the presumed authenticity of the works displayed at the 2009 Tours exhibition, Ms. Patricia Railing presents – again over the internet – a new and no less unconditional praise of this exhibition, which thus far remains highly contested in the network of French justice. Advocated for three years now, the supposed authenticity of the paintings presented at Tours in 2009 is affirmed as straightforward evidence, and thus one beyond discussion.
And so readers of the January issue of the on-line periodical, Cassone (www.cassone-art.com) are led to believe that the 2009 “exhibition” in Tours unfolded quiet normally, while in reality the display at the Chateau de Tours was closed by French police under the supervision of the Tours prosecution, the works taken into legal custody. This investigation is ongoing. If she follows the fate of Alexandra Exter’s works, Ms. Patricia Railing, the author of the text in Cassone, cannot pretend to ignore these events for numerous articles have appeared in the international press (including English) making reference to these court proceedings and to some members of InCoRM involved in them. Thus the unfortunate reader of Cassone is invited to discover these supposed “masterpieces” of modern art, this being materially impossible for the works are sealed away by French justice and out of public view to this day.
The brief article in Cassone would not merit any mention had it not been replete with incorrect information that essentially aims to promote some credible provenance, a provenance that to this day is sorely desired in order to justify hundreds of fakes promoted on the European market and beyond.
In the text published by Cassone, there appears, like the Monster of Loch Ness, the fable of plethoric reserves of works of art (“thousands” we are told !) apparently recorded by the “Russian Museum Bureau” (alas Soviet), wishful thinking that does not match up against the Russian archives, documents that since 1987 have been studied by many Russian as well as Western art historians.
Another fantastic provenance is put forward, that of the pretended “collection” of the artist’s testament executor, Inno Ezraty. It must be reiterated here that while Ezratty certainly had the legal task to “deliver the legacy”, this legacy, consisting of the entire contents of the artist’s studio, including documentation and not least the rights to reproduction, was explicitly destined to Simon Lissim. These were accepted by him and effectively delivered to him at the beginning of the 1950s. All this is perfectly documented in notarial and customs documents in addition to the lists of works that have passed through Lissim’s hands, lists that Lissim established himself. Pretending to the contrary is simply unfounded and thus seriously detrimental to the truth about the provenance of the works in question. It must be reaffirmed that the disputed works from the Tours exhibition as well as other that are circulating for the past several years on certain European art markets with the reference “atelier of the artist” gravely abuse this reference.
The text in Cassone does not at any moment make note of the contestation aroused by this exhibition, even if only to contradict the challenge to the authenticity of the paintings presented at Tours. And how could one undertake a similar task today, for several experts have successively confirmed the falsity of the works (see Défence de l’œuvre) : expert graphologists (three in total!), one of the materials (June 2009) and one of “artistic,” meaning stylistic, aspects (fall 2011). It must also be stated that the latest “supplement to the expertise” included, one more, a chemical analysis of the pigments.
To present the exhibition at Tours as a positive event and even more as one that spreads the “recognition of the works of Exter” remains only its author’s – Ms. Patricia Railing’s – opinion on this matter.
It is not surprising that in Cassone’s article both the historical context drawn up by the author as well as Exter’s historiography are both riddled with errors. First of all, it should be indicated that the author is unaware, or feigns to ignore known historical facts like those concerning major Moscow retrospectives of the Russian avant-garde such as that of Malewicz in 1920, or important posthumous exhibitions of Rozanova (1918) and Popova (1924).
Concerning Exter’s proper historiography, praising the rediscovery of her works through the 2009 Tours exhibition – presented as “her first major museum exhibition” [sic!] – is straightforward loony. One should recall that the fallacious exhibition in Tours does not account for a “museum exhibition,” for it was not endorsed by an institution with “museum” status, even if on this occasion the rooms of the municipal Chateau de Tours were improperly dubbed with the title “museum.”
The first museum exhibition in Western Europe took place in Italy in 1991, at the Museum of Modern Art in Roveretto (Italy), an institution that was the prefiguration of MART, today a world-famous museum of modern art. The show in 1991 was made possible for it was preceded in 1986 by the publication of a scholarly catalogue of Exter’s works kept in the Bakhrushin Museum in Moscow, a Russian publication that at the time constituted an enterprise of utmost scholarly quality, all the more exceptional for its time in the Soviet Union and one that remains to this day a standard reference. This publication was followed in 1987 by the first Exter retrospective in Russia, an indisputably “museum” exhibition as it was organized by the Bakhrushin Museum in Moscow, an institution that benefited at this time from numerous loans from provincial museums.
Concerning the recent exhibition in Moscow (2010), as has already been addressed to the director of the private museum that hosted the show, it did not constitute a presentation of only authentic works, but once again contained some disputed ones. As I wrote to the museum that held the exhibition not only were there genuine works by the artist but also contested works. While this remains only my opinion, it is, nevertheless an opinion formulated on the bases of my extensive study of the archives and documentation of the artist which were bequeathed to me by the late Simon Lissim.
Finally, to conclude on a lighter note, it is not surprising that in such a lack of seriousness, the author blunders the date of Alexandra Exter’s death, for if in 2009 the Tours exhibition, as Ms. Patricia Railing writes, came to “commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the artist’s death” Exter would have died in 1959 when in fact she died in 1949… This leads us to conclude that the author of the text in Cassone customarily writes anything to obviate the truth and lead to the disfiguration of the simplest historical facts.
It would be advisable so not to mislead its readers that the editors of Cassone take the trouble of consulting the website of our association.