(ed. We have posted this here and as a stand alone item in this Topic Area because we feel it is important for as many people as possible to become aware of dodds's charades that are only self-promotion and surely not to meet the far more lofty aims he, and others like hali magazine, falsely claim.)
Seems we are not the only ones who have serious doubts about dodds's ability to discern the age and provenance of the goods he curates or those he owns and sells. Often, as we have shown, the line separating his role as "curator" from that of dealer is, in dodds's case, very blurry and undefined.
So much so that the better minds over in professor price’s clownland, too, have started to realize dodds's egregious penchant to seriously over date his goods.
Not only does dodds add mythical centuries to his dating but he also provenances his pieces with little regard for reality.
Here are two rugs from the Arthur Ross Gallery exhibition that demonstrate dodds in action:
The rug on the left has been given a so-called Konya/Karpinar attribution by dodds and, as for the prayer rug on the right, he is equally on thin ice by calling it a Ushak.
Here is the entire Arthur Ross Gallery label, written of course by dodds that charlatan and shyster curator, who think nothing of hyping his own rugs and then trying to sell them while they are hanging in the University Art Gallery exhibition he orgnized :
“Pile Rug, 17th century
Central Anatolia, Konya/Karapinar region
Collection of Dennis Dodds and Zinaida Vaganova”
"In several of his paintings, the German artist Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) featured a distinctive group of 15th-century Anatolian rugs woven in this style. The “Holbein” nomenclature has been adopted in the literature as a useful descriptor for the group as a whole. The earliest versions, known as “small-pattern Holbeins,” employed an overall repeat of small medallions.
"This carpet displays one of the design variants within the small-pattern Holbein group: a solitary medallion on an open field dyed with pale madder. Its outline is stepped with four graceful volutes on stems that issue from opposing axes. Inside the medallion is a quadri¬partite floral form consisting of four connected stylized blossoms. The eccentric spandrels in this village carpet are analogous to earlier 16th-century court versions— sometimes known as double-niche prayer rugs—that are rendered in a more fluid and curvilinear manner. An energetic and angular meandering vine attaches stylized flower heads and leaves in the broad, soft yellow border. The carpet displays unusual simplicity, scale and openness in the design."
This rug was also published as Plate 20 in the "Atlantic Collections" catalog from ICOC VIII in Philadelphia. Dennis Dodds likely wrote the caption for it there. It begins "Central Anatolia, 18th century..." The caption seems to relate it to another Central Anatolian rug with a similar design (Plate 17 in the same catalog) but one Dennis describes as having more "courtly refinement.""
By the way not only does dodds own this rug but he also owns the “Ushak” prayer rug as well and both are being actively marketed as they hang in the University Art Gallery.
The most disturbing fact here is not dodds’s overly optimistic and bogus dating and provenance but his using the Arthur Ross Gallery exhibition to sell his inventory under the guise of providing public “education”.
Phooey, the only reason we can see for this “exhibition” is for dodds to use it as a selling vehicle and to ply is inventory on the unsuspecting visitors who trip into the gallery. Frankly,
RK thinks this stinks, as we similarly believe dodds’s selling that late period genre “Bellini” to LACMA also reeked to high heaven.
Reading the dreamingly dopey and verbose “description” dodds blessed this rug, and many of the others in the show, with provides nothing more than one person’s (dennis dodds) highly optimistic and specious “opinions” – they are far from fact. Nor are they shared by anyone who has proven credibility or expertise with Early Turkish Village Rugs.
What dodds has done and continues to do is obvious – now, so much so, the amateurs in professor price’s circle even have raised these issues.
Here is some of the published debate going on between a couple of the people who post there regularly. RK must comment when ruggies like these, who are not very experienced to say the least, realize dodds’s attributions are fabrications, with little supporting documentation or chance for reality, how can the rest of rugdom turn a blind eye to dodds’s machinations:
“I also find the "Konya/Karapinar" rug intriguing. It is (obviously?) a villager's interpretation of the classic double niche prayer rugs that are typically attributed to Ushak of the 17th and 18th century… Interestingly, I have not been able to find a similar village rug published in the literature, only the classical Ushak rugs. Has anyone seen something comparably?”
The fact no other similar rug exists bodes poorly for dodds claims as does the following observation:
“So, I am wondering, ‘Why is this rug to come from the Konya/Karapinar" region?’ and ‘Why is it labeled as 17th century?”
Everyone should realize anyone who knows anything about Early Turkish Rugs would pose the same query and observation – dodds’s provenance is fanciful at best and downright disingenuous and deceitful at the worst.
RK feels his true motivations lie somewhere between.
Of course, there are those, like dead-eye john howe, who believe the pabulum and hype dodds spins.
Why, howe, even though he is a proven dumbbell ruggie could write the following, after reading the myriad of questions dodds’s attributions raise, is unbelievable:
“My sense is that he sees it as a nice country cousin of some more refined rugs of this type. Dennis seems now to see things in the spandrels that are analgous(sic) to some 16th century usages and has apparently decided that it should be estimated as older than it was in 1996. He apparently also thinks that a more precise geographic attribition(sic) can be made.”
Unfortunately, howe represents a fairly large group of ruggies that have been so indoctrinated and hypnotized by dodds’s rug world reputation and accolades (most of which RK feels are totally undeserved – especially in light of dodds’s growing belief he is untouchable) that they will swallow anything dodds says without question.
And this, dear readers, begs the central and most important issue --rugdom’s inability to self-regulate and govern. For if there was any semblance of regulation, a greedy duplicitous carpet-bagging dealer cum pseudo-academe like dodds would have been run out of rugdom long ago.
We will end this with a comment uttered by one of professor price’s posters:
“…the dating of the Konya/Karapinar rug seems quite aggressive…what indicates that these pieces are possibly from the 17th century and not from a later time period?”
While this query has, so far, remained unanswered in clownland, RK can flatly state: There is nothing to indicate, support or verify dodds’s dopey claims for his rugs and we challenge dodds, or anyone else, to try and prove different.