'Driven To Abstraction': Release date, plot, trailer and all you need to know about documentary on Knoedler art scandal
In 2011, the dubious nature of the art displayed and sold at New York's famous Knoedler Gallery came to light and resulted in one of the biggest scandals in the art world
We often indulge in the mystical tranquil power of art when we need some downtime. Art galleries are the best relaxation spots when you're not only looking to get away from the stressors of life but are seeking creative stimulation to get some work done. Galleries are the heartbeat of the art world, a network through which many aspiring artists gain recognition for their work. On the contrary, there is also a dark side to it. The art market is notorious for its lack of transparency. It is the largest unregulated industry in the world, next to guns and drugs. While there are certain rules that govern the industry, the salient one being that it is clandestine. There is very little oversight and players can pretty much get away with a lot of unethical behavior. In 2011, the dubious nature of the art displayed and sold at New York's famous Knoedler Gallery came to light and resulted in one of the biggest scandals in the art world. This event is now the subject of a documentary entitled 'Driven to Abstraction'. Here's everything you need to know about it.
'Driven to Abstraction' will be available on-demand on August 28.
Knoedler & Co, one of New York City's most reputed and oldest art galleries opened in 1846 and kept its doors wide open until it shut down in 2011. 'Driven to Abstraction' draws focus on the events that transpired leading to its abrupt closure in a series of interviews and archival footage montages. It uncovers the appalling truths of the art world while retelling the story of the $80M forgery scandal that ultimately resulted in Knoedler's doom.
It explores the unanswered questions from the controversy. Was the gallery's director, Ann Freedman, the victim of a con artist named Glafira Rosales who showed up with a hard of previously unseen abstract expressionist masterpieces? Or did she eventually learn of their false nature, yet continued to sell them for millions, for 15 years? This documentary attempts to decipher the truth while getting to the bottom of the biggest hoax that Modern American Art has ever encountered.
When collectors and prospective buyers realized that they had been scammed into buying worthless fakes for exorbitant amounts, lawsuits starting flying left and right. The Feds followed the money trail only to discover more criminal activity including tax evasion and money laundering. Eventually, the leads prompted them towards a simple house in Queens, the sanctuary of an elderly Chinese immigrant, the mastermind behind the fake works of art with an uncanny ability to mimic masters of Abstract Expressionism.
'Driven to Abstraction' is directed by New York-based filmmaker, Daria Price. She holds a diverse background, working in both documentary and fiction films. She produced, directed, and edited the award-winning film 'Survival of the Fittest', about America's obsession with youth and beauty. As a documentary filmmaker, Price was the field producer and videographer on Canada's Vision TV series, 'Twist of Faith' and on HDNet's World Report 'The Silent Pandemic: Diabetes in Kids'. She also directed science and technology content with Elsash-TV for the Associated Press Television Network, the BBC, and HDNet. In addition to filmmaking, she also a screenplay writer with works like 'The Nesting and Blood From a Stone' under her belt.
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