Art News & Views



Chandana Hore claims sculpture of
Somnath Hore in Christie's auction is a fake

The sculpture at Christe's auction

Fake art is a severe disgrace towards the progression of a culture. The more such things happen, the intensity to dilute the potency and the real value of the art work increases. This is a major threat to the artist community and one of the most heinous illegitimate practices in the art world. And day-by-day, it is becoming pretty difficult to track the sales of artworks without a standardized parameter and protocol and thus identifying whether the work is genuine cannot be ascertained. Fakes of masterpieces are thus in abundance.

In a telephonic conversation on May 25, 2010 Chandana Hore claimed, “I am sure that this is not my father's work, Its a fake because I am the nearest witness of my father's work-style and treatment." The sculpture under doubt is to be sold at the South Asian Modern + Contemporary art, Christie's auction to be held on June 10, 2010 at South Kensington. The Lot Description states Lot 217, SOMNATH HORE (1921-2006), Untitled, bronze, 8 7/8 x 4¾ x 3½ in. (22.7 x 12.2 x 9 cm.) and the sale information is Sale 7924 and the Estimate is £8,000 - £12,000 ($11,568 - $17,352). The present owner of this sculpture has collected it from a private gallery of Kolkata.

“The small piece of sculpture to be sold at Christie's doesn't bear the treatment pattern of my father's execution style specifically the channeling on the backside which is a layman's task” said Chandana Hore. Similar such instances have happened earlier with Somnath Hore's works.

There had been a controversy regarding Somnath's work earlier also when the works were exhibited a couple of years back in Delhi and according to “Neville Tuli, the chairman of Osian's Connoisseurs of Art Pvt. Ltd, who has sold Hore's work through his auction house, and Naveen Kishore, the Kolkata-based publisher of Seagull Books Pvt. Ltd, who was a friend of Hore's and arranged a major exhibition in 1994 of 54 of Hore's works and both raised questions of authenticity after looking at pictures. They said they felt that at least some of the sculptures were fake likely recast from the original wax models by someone familiar with Hore's work.”

When Somnath Hore was alive, he himself had been fighting against the sale and promotion of fake artworks. From the manuscript of an advertisement, Hore had sent to the Statesman, Kolkata, the announcement states, Chandana Hore also said, “My only concern is to fight for my father's esteem and real value of his artworks because if such fakes are being dealt with at the international level, the real worth of my father's works will indeed be adulterated. And I am raising voice against this because my father has taken a lot of pain in his life to execute these works and we are a part of his struggle. Now it becomes my duty to protect this prestige.”

Sarmistha Maiti



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