MEXICO CITY Trustees of Frida Kahlos estate and allied experts on Thursday denounced as forgeries a private collection purporting to own 1,200 artifacts and undiscovered works by the renowned Mexican artist.
The groups statement was meant to cast doubt on the collection of Carlos and Leticia Noyola, which is displayed at a central Mexico museum and appears in two recent books about Kahlos art.
The trustees asserted that the works were not Kahlos at a news conference held in the garden of the Frida Kahlo Museum blue house in Mexico City where she was born, lived with her artist-husband Diego Rivera and died in 1954.
Guadalupe Rivera Marin, a daughter of Diego Rivera from a previous marriage who lived there with Kahlo, said the artist painted relatively few works because of her lifelong health problems.
With just over 400 paintings, drawings and notes making up the official collection, its unlikely that a collection three times as large would have escaped notice, the experts said.
Frida was not a very productive painter, Rivera Marin said. The truth is she painted very little and she often painted because my father insisted that she finish her work rather than because she had an interest in painting.
The panel also said some types of paint used in works in the disputed collection dont match the kinds of paint Kahlo preferred.
The Noyolas said in a statement quoted in Thursdays edition of the newspaper El Universal that they had been falsely accused and maintained that the artwork is genuine.
The trustees said they receive no financial benefit from the sale of Kahlos physical artwork, but only profit from rights to reproduce her art in photos.
James Oles, an art professor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, told reporters that no reputable authority has authenticated the supposed new works. He said he doubted their authenticity but would participate in an examination by an independent and reputable institute.
The press conference followed reports in the Mexican press Thursday that prosecutors had dismissed a complaint by the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Trust against the private collectors.
But the spokesman for the federal Attorney Generals Office, Isaac Fragoso, said Thursday afternoon that the case was continuing.
For the moment we have not put out any resolution to the case, Fragoso said.
Neither side in the dispute could be reached for reaction to the prosecutors statement.