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This week: the extraordinary story behind what Canadian police have called “the biggest art fraud in history”. More than 1,000 fake works purporting to be by the First Nations artist Norval Morrisseau are seized and eight people have been charged. The Art Newspaper’s Editor, Americas, Ben Sutton, tells the extraordinary story, involving a rock star, a television documentary and alleged forgery rings, and what it tells us about the market for First Nations art in Canada.
A report into artists’ pay in the UK has exposed the inordinately low sums paid to artists for their labour by arts organisations. We talk to the art collective Industria, who wrote the report, and Julie Lomax, the CEO of a-n, The Artists’ Information Company, which has published the study.
And this episode’s Work of the Week is An Old Woman (around 1513) by the Northern Renaissance artist Quinten Massys, a painting better known as The Ugly Duchess. A new exhibition at the National Gallery focuses on this work in its collection, exploring its origins in a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, and the combination of satire, folklore, humanism and misogyny from which it emerged. Emma Capron, the curator of the show, tells us more.
• A PDF of Industria’s Structurally F–cked report can be found at a-n.co.uk.
• Industria’s website is we-industria.org.
• The Ugly Duchess: Beauty and Satire in the Renaissance, National Gallery, London, until 11 June.