After disputing two works last September, the artist Geng Jianyi has stated in a letter that it is possible he repainted two works in his Hairdressing series, Artnet News China reported on Thursday. Hairdressing: Hairwashing was set to be auctioned by Poly last October, but was withdrawn due to complaints by Geng, supported by other artists including Zhang Peili, that it was not an authentic work.
The original and a similar painting Hairdressing: Woman Entering a Salon were presumed destroyed after an exhibition in 1989. But the critic and dealer Lv Peng released a series of letters from 1992, in which Geng agreed to repaint the missing works in the series.
Since then, Geng has issued a letter to the attorney Cheng Shoutai, stating: “Documents of correspondence seem to suggest that I had a failure of memory. It is possible that I repainted Hairdressing: Woman Entering a Salon (184.5cm x 134.5cm) and Hairdressing: Hair-washing (174.5cm x 105cm) in 1992. I have a responsibility to acknowledge this fact.”
The note was signed during a meeting at the Shanghai Portman Ritz-Carlton in which Geng and Lorenz Helbling, whose ShanghArt Gallery represents Geng, met with Cheng.