Head with Horns. Paul Gauguin. French. 1848 – 1903. 1895 – 1897. Wood with traces of polychromy. Object (head): H: 22 x W: 22.8 x D: 12 cm (8 11/16 x 9 x 4 3/4 in.). Object (base): H: 20 x W: 25 x D: 17.5 cm (7 7/8 x 9 13/16 x 6 7/8 in.). (Photo by: Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Compliments of DVP: https://www.diegovociproject.com/

A prized and rare sculpture by Paul Gauguin that was acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum for a reported $3 million to $5 million has been deemed a fake.

The sculpture, titled Head with Horns, has been reattributed by researchers to an unknown artist and pulled from the museum’s permanent display, according to the Art Newspaper and Le Figaro. The institution acquired the work in 2002 from Wildenstein & Company, the powerful French-American art-dealing dynasty that is embroiled in a litany lawsuits.

Researchers made the change in attribution quietly last December, and the work was noticeably absent from recent Gauguin blockbusters at Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada and the National Gallery in London.

The prime pieces of evidence linking the work to Gauguin were two photographs of the sculpture by the artist included in his Tahitian travelogue, Noa Noa. A 2002 press release from the Getty drawing attention to its resemblance to the artist suggested that it may have been a symbolic self-portrait.

“Sculpture by Gauguin is exceedingly rare, and this intriguing work stands out as a superb example,” Deborah Gribbon, then the director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, said at the time of the acquisition. “We feel especially fortunate to be able to display Head with Horns, which will become a natural centerpiece of our installation of symbolist art.”

After being bought by Getty, the piece circulated the world, traveling to shows at Tate Modern in London, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, MoMA in New York, and the Museo delle Culture in Milan.

But the sculpture was never signed by Gauguin, and his photographs of it showed it atop a pedestal not carved in any of how known styles. Originally dated to between 1895 and 1897, which lines up the artist’s time in Tahiti, it is now thought to be from 1894, a time when Gauguin is known to have been in France.

The work has long been questions by some experts. Shortly after the Getty acquired it, Fabrice Fourmanoir, a collector of 19th-century Tahitian photography, found a picture of the sculpture by Jules Agostini captioned “Idole Marquisienne” (Marquisian Idol), suggesting that Agostini thought the piece was by an indigenous artist from the Marquesas Islands, then a part of French Polynesia.

In Agostini’s photo album, Head with Horns is shown next to a portrait of George Lagarde, a collector of ethnographic art who may have been the owner of the sculpture. The photographs both date to 1894.

The sculpture’s provenance was always a bit murky. It was included in a show at the Fondation Maeght in 1997 after being purchased, four years earlier, by Wildenstein & Company from a private Swiss collector. The work was first attributed to Gauguin by Daniel Wildenstein, the author of a Gauguin catalogue raisonné of painting focusing on the years 1873 to 1888. Another volume, covering the years 1888 to 1903, is due at the end of 2020 but will not include sculptures, the Wildenstein Plattner Institute tells Artnet News. They said that, to date, the sculpture has not been submitted to the WPI’s Gauguin committee for research and examination.

This would not be the first time that the Wildensteins have been caught in a public controversy.

The French art-dealing family has been accused of evading taxes in France, hiding missing or stolen artworks, and even of trading artworks with the Nazis during World War II, all claims the family denies.

The Getty is now researching the sandalwood sculpture and its lacewood base to try to learn more about its origins. Some Polynesian art experts say its devilish horns suggest the iconography is not local, but comes from Christian and European sources. Another theory, floated by Fourmanoir, is that it was carved by a European tourist.


Diego Voci; “Untitled” Abstract oil on canvas ca. 1966

Amazingly this painting by internationally collected artist Antonio Diego Voci (1920-1985) appeared this year for sale online for $150. Basquiat aficionados at first sight declared it to be a Basquiat, if so he (Basquiat) would have only been 6 years old. See the (above & below) similar impromptu strokes of the brush bringing unrelated shapes and lines together in a strangely beautiful work of art.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) artworks are in demand by the big time art collectors worldwide, selling in the millions of dollars to acquire. Once a lover of #AndyWarhol, Museums covet Basquiat / Warhol collaborative works.

Warhol & Basquiat above Basquiat above

NOTE: Coop Cooprider, Diego Voci Historian, has certified the work shown here as authentic Diego, circa 1966 that’s when Diego left the prestigious Schlossgalerie in Zurich, and moved to Germany, home of his lover and wife to be Helga Drossler. Helga Voci, Diego’s widow still living in Germany confirmed “Yes”, it’s a Diego. He was always experimenting.” There he affiliated with 2 galleries, Naffouj Gallery in Landstuhl and Galerie Dahms in Wiesbaden. The Diego work shown here is one of the very first with the “Diego” signature. Joy Naffouj convinced Diego that since “he” is known by Diego, sign the work “Diego”. Before the “Diego” signature, he signed some form of Voci (https://www.artifactcollectors.com/diego-history-4330818.html#43343).


Caravaggio, Judith Beheading Holofernes (circa 1607), detail. Courtesy of Cabinet Turquin.


You never know what you find in your attics. #Internationally #Collected #Artist #DiegoVoci works of art are being discovered each and every day. Watch on #YouTube to learn more: https://youtu.be/GG5Jl-2FuXM



Modigliani Nu Couche

Amedeo Modigliani, Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) (1917)


At Sotheby’s, the top lot of the night (May 14, 2018) —and one of the most buzzed-about this season—was Amedeo Modigliani‘s large nude Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) (1917), which carried a $150 million estimate, the most expensive ever placed on a single work at auction. It also had an irrevocable, or third-party, bid placed in advance. The work sold for a premium-inclusive price of $157 million after sparse bidding.

“Modigliani has now joined the ultimate club within the art market at $150 million,” he said at a post-sale press conference. “He’s the only artist who has broken that ceiling twice.”

To Read more: Led by a $157 Million Modigliani, Sotheby’s Otherwise Tepid Impressionist Sale Makes $318 Million

The Modigliani canvas is part of a prized series of nude paintings, produced between 1916 and 1919, that caused a scandal when they were first shown in Paris. When exhibited in  Berthe Weill’s gallery for what would be the only one-man exhibition that Modigliani during his lifetime, a sizable crowd outside raised the curiosity of the police, who shut down the show after two days. (Only two drawings sold.)

Worth the view; Some of Modigliani’s Most Seductive Portraits Were Once Censored by Police—See Them Here https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/modigliani-tate-london-1232252

Destined to be an all time classic, Diego Voci’s; $20,000 REWARD for the “Nude in Yellow” Watch! https://youtu.be/EA5aZ88bCM4