During 2020, we’ve noticed a new phenomenon; fake Warhol graphics produced by high-quality laser printers. While we’re not sure about the specifics used to create these forgeries, examples from his “Flowers,” “Maos,” “Endangered Species,” and “Myths” portfolios have cropped up — so far.
It used to be that a print’s provenance was of little consequence; it was a multiple largely created for the art market. Prints by major contemporary artists, such as Jasper Johns, were hard to fake because they were executed by serious publishers, like Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE). In reference to Warhol, he worked with master printers, specifically Alexander Heinrici and Rupert Jasen Smith. They produced large and varied series that were consistent in quality and materials, utilizing the finest papers and inks. Without today’s amazing advances in printing technology, Warhol counterfeits would have been inconceivable.
Knowing the history of an Andy Warhol serigraph has become crucial. A collector’s best bet is to conduct their own research before buying. It’s a rather painless exercise to go online and look up print dealers who are members of the Art Dealers Association of America. Besides this list, there are plenty of other established galleries who sell genuine Warhols. Also, the print departments at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips are seasoned professionals when it comes to discerning authentic Warhol editions — believe me, they’ve seen it all.