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Hardback208 PagesSize: 265 × 228 × 21 mm
ISBN: 9781848220980Publication: November 30, 2012

Art and Authenticity

Edited by Megan Aldrich and Jos Hackforth-Jones, with essays by Megan Aldrich, David Bellingham, Jonathan Clancy, Lis Darby, Natasha Degen, Anthony Downey, Sophie von der Goltz, Jos Hackforth-Jones, Barbara Lasic, Noël Riley, Bernard Vere and Morgan Wesley


£45.00 GBP

  • Considers the fascinating and topical question of authenticity in art from a wide range of different standpoints
  • A thought-provoking volume, aimed at students, dealers, curators, art historians and all those with a general interest in the topic, which forces readers to re-think what constitutes an authentic artwork
  • Topics covered include attribution and the market; the tension between scientific methods and connoisseurship in the attribution process; the creation of replicas; questions of originality in conceptual art

Art and Authenticity explores a range of questions around the ideas of authenticity, originality and replication in art. The authors move far beyond the fundamental question of 'Is it genuine?' to themes and definitions surrounding authenticity as a concept operating across different periods and contexts. The chapters consider empirical aspects of art analysis but also more conceptual and theoretical understandings of authenticity. For example, is there such a thing as authentic presentation and display of artworks? Can the idea of authenticity be applied to subject-matter and style? How do the art market and the art world respond to the perceived authenticity of artworks? 

Historically, the idea of scientific verification has arisen as a reaction against the perceived excesses of the connoisseurial tradition, a tradition which has fallen from favour over the last 50 years. The idea of individual 'expert knowledge' rests uneasily in the current climate. However, recent attempts by experts to develop definitive scientific methods for authenticating artworks are also proving to be problematic. Connoisseurship, it will be argued, still has its role to play within these debates.

Through the broad range of artworks and perspectives developed within this volume, the book suggests that although the concept of authenticity is not without validity or usefulness, it nonetheless poses a continually moving target within the frameworks of varied cultural and historical constructs. The authors challenge a narrow interpretation of 'authenticity' as a concept applied to the art world, for the issues surrounding authenticity are rarely black and white.
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