REAL OR FAKE?
Le criminel, 1987
Both these images are called Le Criminel, 1987 and supposedly signed by Constant but which of the two is an authentic work of art by Constant? This is one of the many authentication cases that the foundation is presented with each week.
Falsification and copying of works of art is a serious issue that Fondation Constant is dealing with on a daily basis. The cases range from artworks that are utterly out of character for Constant to unfortunate copies of excisting works. Often we deal with disappointed customers and sometimes even ill-willed auction houses that put false works of art up for auction after we informed them of their doubtful origins. Unfortunately under the Dutch law there is hardly anything that we can do to put a stop to these practices.
Fondation Constant takes these matters very seriously indeed and has started reaching out to several organisations that are dealing with these issues as well to see if combined action can be taken. In the mean time Trudy Nieuwenhuys-van der Horst occasionally lectures on the subject to inform art lovers of these unfortunate practices.
In case you were in doubt, the first Criminel is an actual watercolor by Constant. (Published in Constant. Les Aquarelles by Jean-Clarence Lambert, 1994, Édition Cercle d'Art, Paris)