Everything You Need to Know About Peter Doig’s Authentication Trial

Here's a handy timeline of the events.

Peter Doige, desert landscape. Courtesy ARIS Title ‏@ARIS_ArgoGroup via Twitter.

After failing to sell a desert landscape allegedly painted by Scottish-born artist Peter Doig, Robert Fletcher, a 62-year-old former corrections officer, sought millions in damages and a court-ordered declaration of authenticity. Fletcher argued that Doig sold him the painting for $100 in 1975 while the artist was a young inmate at the Thunder Bay Correctional Center in Northwestern Ontario. Judge Gary Feinerman of the the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted Fletcher his request for a trial and set the proceedings to begin in August.

In the interim, artnet News reached out to Peter Bartlow, the Chicago art dealer to whom Fletcher consigned the painting. Bartlow, who filed the lawsuit with Fletcher, described Doig as a “sociopath,” and said that the artist “can’t draw”.

On Monday, August 9, Doig took the stand in the authentication trial and maintained that he did not paint the landscape. Doig argued that he was 16 or 17 at the time, and had never spent time in Thunder Bay.

On Wednesday, August 10, we looked at Peter Doig’s top 10 works at auction.

On Thursday, August 11, expert witnesses took the stand to examine the landscape. Janet Potter writes that art historian and former executive director of the Appraisers’ Association of America, Victor Wiener, took the stand on behalf of the plaintiffs’, and valued the painting at $50,000-$100,000 if not claimed by Doig, and $6-8 million if it was deemed authentic.

On Tuesday, August 16, Dushko Petrovich wrote that Doig testified, calling the claims against him unethical.

On Friday, August 19, Brian Boucher looked into the Instagram sensation behind some curious trial coverage.

On Tuesday, August 23, Dushko Petrovich wrote that Peter Doig won his bizarre authentication trial. Doig’s lawyers wrote to artnet News: “Artists should be grateful to Peter for having the ethical and financial fortitude to fight tirelessly to ensure that justice prevailed in today’s verdict.”

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