Revealing Art Forgery by Dr Catelijne Coopmans
Publisher : Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
Publication Date : Oct / 2016

Skillful forgers can mimic the appearance of genuine works of art very closely: reports of forgeries fetching millions of dollars and being exhibited in reputed museums before their exposure, tell us as much. And yet, discussions about art forgery that span expert and public domains also often emphasize that such mimicking can never be perfect. There is a sense of confidence that, eventually, if probed in the right way, a work will reveal itself for what it truly is. In this talk, related to a book project on the attractions and paradoxes of ‘revealing’ as a way of knowing, I will discuss how autobiographies and other sources relating to art forgery treat the detectability (‘revealability’) of the fake. This discussion will be set against broader questions about the alleged essence of true art and the role of sense perception in ascertaining it.