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Arts & Culture

Driven To Abstraction

Attorney Luke Nikas examines fake Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock paintings.
Courtesy of Grasshopper Films
Attorney Luke Nikas examines fake Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock paintings.

Airs Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

“Driven To Abstraction” unravels a mutating tale of self-delusion, greed, and fraud — the $80 million forgery scandal that rocked the art world and brought down Knoedler, New York City's oldest and most venerable gallery.

Was the gallery's esteemed director the victim of a con artist who showed up with an endless treasure trove of previously unseen abstract expressionist masterpieces?

Or did she eventually suspect they were fakes, yet continue to sell them for millions of dollars for fifteen years?

New York Times Reporter Patricia Cohen
Courtesy of Grasshopper Films
New York Times Reporter Patricia Cohen

Whatever the truth, two women from very different worlds crossed paths in what would become the greatest hoax ever of Modern American Art.

Locked doors at Knoedler Gallery, New York City.
Courtesy of Grasshopper Films
Locked doors at Knoedler Gallery, New York City.

Driven To Abstraction: Trailer

Credits:

Produced by Daria Price. Grasshopper Film.