Friday, December 15, 2006

New Allegations about the Natsoulas Gallery

According to reports by two Northern California newspapers, the daughters of noted Bay Area artist David Park have questioned the authenticity of a painting that was sold under his name by the John Natsoulas Gallery, a prominent regional art dealer located in Davis, California. The reports appeared in the Sacramento Bee on December 7th and in the Davis Enterprise on December 15th.

This is the second time in newspaper reports that the Natsoulas Gallery has been accused of misrepresenting artwork. In October, the Sacramento Bee reported on a lawsuit in which an artist claimed that his own work had been sold by the Natsoulas Gallery, with forged signatures, as the work of the well-known artist Richard Diebenkorn. (See my earlier blog on this topic.)

Along with one of the allegedly forged Diebenkorns, the disputed work by Park appeared in a 2004 show (and catalog) produced by the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. Both works were from the collection of Fresno collector George Blair.

The report by the Sacramento Bee quotes an FBI source who said that the Bureau is not pursuing the Diebenkorn forgery allegations because the time period has exceeded the federal statute of limitations.

According to the reports, Park’s daughters have withdrawn their cooperation with a David Park exhibition scheduled by John Natsoulas for 2007.

(I would like to thank an anonymous tipster who directed me to the newspaper reports.)

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