The Art Students League of New York is proud to present an early screening of the award-winning documentary Driven to Abstraction (2019). The documentary 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 many millions of dollars for fifteen years? Whatever the truth, two women from very different worlds were, wittingly or not, caught up in the greatest hoax ever of Modern American Art.
The screening will be followed by a special conversation with the film director Daria Price, an award-winning filmmaker, and Patricia Cohen, author and journalist for The New York Times who was an early reporter to extensively cover the scandal.
Daria Price works in both documentary and fiction films. Her first feature documentary Out On a Limb won Best Documentary at the 2013 Boston International Film Festival. Driven to Abstraction is her second feature documentary. Daria also wrote, produced, directed, and edited the award-winning Survival of the Fittest, a satirical mystery that lampoons America’s obsession with youth and beauty, featured on Comcast’s On Demand Cutting Edge series.
Patricia Cohen covers the national economy for The New York Times and is the author of “In Our Prime: The Fascinating History and Promising Future of Middle Age” (Scribner). Ms. Cohen joined The Times in 1997 as ideas editor to create the Arts & Ideas section, and later oversaw the paper’s theater coverage. An award-winning reporter, she has written extensively about ideas, books and the arts, and worked as an investigative reporter in the Culture department.
Image: Director Daria Price & fake Rothko