Fake Klines still selling on the open market?
No less than 9 signed Franz Klines that have traded over the past five years at major auction houses (including Christie’s London & New York, Koller in Zurich, and Tajan in Pari) could be fakes. All are untitled ink-on-paper works from the early 1950s, and all have identical block-letter Kline signatures. On the reverse of each is a label from the Grace Borgenicht Gallery, at 1018 Madison Avenue, in New York.
That provenance is suspect, according to William Mac Chambers, a New York private dealer who was a Borgenicht employee for 23 years. “The label is not our label,” he states. “It’s a fake label.” Chambers will not provide a facsimile of the genuine article, explaining that that would make further forgeries easier. He notes, however, that the size and typeface of the ones on the Klines are incorrect. In any case, a former colleague of his recently examined the gallery’s sold-works archive and no Klines were recorded during its existence, from 1951 to 1995 (Grace Borgenicht died in 2001).