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A Question of Justice…
No Question we shall Fight for it..
I would like to follow on the excellent Press Statement: “a Question of Values”, posted on the InCoRM web site by the chamber’s management, and add my personal comment, shared by all other members as noticed during the last meeting of our “task force”:
This comment shall put the record straight once and for all concerning the unwavering determination of the InCoRM members to prevent any individual or group of individuals, from declaring the Russian Avant-Garde their private and exclusive domain, off limit to others, including academics, historians, collectors, curators and gallery owners in the West.
It is a real pity to see the Director of a prestigious Russian museum and some of its curators, local art experts and historians together with supposedly unbiased journalists fall into the trap and become accessories after the fact in an obvious attempt by unscrupulous people at monopolizing an entire segment of Art.
Nationalistic bigotry? financial rewards? physical threats? What in the world could drive such prominent people and lead them to jeopardize their reputation by participating in the despicable lynching of two of the most respected world specialists of the work of Natalia Goncharova?
Needless to say, neither M. Antony Parton nor Mme Denise Bazetoux has any specific financial interest in publishing books which would include reproductions of fake paintings.
Their records, reputations and careers are impeccable and they do not personally own extensive collections of Goncharovas or other Russian Avant-Garde works.
Shall they be paid for their remarkable and exhausting academic work and contribution to Art history? Yes indeed and maybe more than they probably are.
So “the time of scholarly discussion as passed” as we can read in a supposedly unbiased Russian-American Art publication. One can only wonder why the journalist, confronted with such a statement, did not even ask the obvious and simple question: “when did this scholarly discussion ever take place?”
With all due respect for M. Aven’s emphatic declarations and the (so far) more than questionable “expert opinions” of some self declared Goncharova or Russian Avant-Garde specialists around him, we are still waiting for the desirable, unavoidable and forthcoming “scholarly discussion” which until now never took place, although InCoRM has been adamantly requesting it for quite some time, in the name of honest academic debate and scientific truth, and ultimately to show deference for the artists work.
But let it be very clear that if the course of action chosen by the lynchers is the legal one, InCoRM will be anxiously waiting for any step they might take in this direction.
At long last the debate will then become an open and public one, with experts, art historians and scientists from both sides expressing their views in a scholarly and professional manner.
This academic discussion might also put an end to the despicable practice of sending barking disturbers into any exposition of Russian Avant-Garde works organized in the west in order to frighten curators, auctioneers or gallery owners by pretending and shouting loud that all works presented are “fakes”.
Such troublemakers of course are never showing the slightest beginning of proof, nor presenting any admissible or hard evidence in support of their reprehensible deeds.
They just satisfy themselves and their patrons with the doubts and suspicion they sow in the mind of timid people.
It is of course crystal clear why some parties have no interest in an honest debate about the work of Goncharova today and other artists of the Russian Avant-Garde tomorrow and why they are trying to kidnap and monopolize the exclusive right to tell right from wrong in the work of the above mentioned artists.
If they succeed and become the only voice authorized to authenticate or declare fake any work from the Russian Avant-Garde, they guarantee that their own collections will be impossible to overlook and will become priceless.
Furthermore, they won’t have to submit their own collections to the scrutiny of outside and independent experts.
Very convenient indeed, and very important if one wants to avoid the embarrassment of discovering some “fakes” by accident.
Respect for the artists work, their genius and reputation plays a very minor role here.
Money is the only name of the game.
And now for the incredible and painful irony of history:
Most of the artists of the Russian Avant-Garde have for decades been considered (for the most part) in their own country as the kind of people with whom politically correct members of the Party and the establishment did not care to be associated with.
Most of those prominent artists have been routinely sidelined because of their opinions, ideas or artistic expression. Numerous among the best have been considered as “untermensch” and viciously discriminated against because of their ethnic origin.
A number have emigrated and produced more works abroad than they did in Russia.
It is quite refreshing to watch some circles whose members have for years been responsible for such an injustice shamelessly bent today on making money with the work of the same artists they despised yesterday.
Do Art magazines want to respect the practice of ethical and fair information journalism or do they suffice themselves by being in the pay of some particular and dishonest interests?
Do people want to just enrich themselves further even at the expense of artistic truth?
Do Art magazines and reasonable people want to put the house of Russian Avant-Garde in order for the benefit of our children and future generations?
Will people come to their senses, open the discussion like honest and intelligent human beings should do and leave it to cautious and concerted academic, scientific and historic analysis to determine if a work of Art is genuine or not?
All sides are welcome to join in this fight for sincerity and respect and for the memory and legacy of some of the greatest artists of the 20th century.
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