Sunday, July 3, 2016

Artist Peter Doig due in court next month to prove painting is not his

A painting that could either be worth millions, or be relatively worthless, is the subject of a court fight involving a retired Canadian correctional officer and a world famous artist who disavows the art work.

The unprecedented battle, set to play out in a Chicago courtroom next month, involves a claim by Robert (Bob) Fletcher, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., that the canvas he owns was painted by Peter Doig in 1976. Doig, whose works have sold for millions of dollars, argues the acrylic landscape was in fact painted by a Peter Doige, a man who once spent time locked up in Thunder Bay for a drug offence.

Fletcher helped Doige find work and to help him out, bought the painting for $100. It was only five years ago, Fletcher said, that a friend noticed the canvas was a Doig 'I do recognize him'

Peter Doig in 2013
Doig has admitted to having dabbled in LSD as a teen. "The work has uncanny commonalities in composition and execution with known works by Doig," the claim, first filed in 2013 states. Fletcher and Chicago-based Bartlow Gallery allege Doig and his agents have "wilfully and wrongfully interfered" with their efforts to sell the painting. The New York Times recently cited Doig, who calls the lawsuit a "scam," as saying he had seen a photograph of the canvas and thought: "Nice painting. Not by me."

Doig further claims he has never been in the northern Ontario city and only began painting on canvas in 1979.