Johanna Leggatt reviews 'Whiteley on Trial' by Gabriella Coslovich

It was the late Robert Hughes who said that ‘apart from drugs, art is the biggest unregulated market in the world’. Journalist Gabriella Coslovich quotes him in her account of the 2016 Whiteley art fraud trial, repeating the line to one of the accused, art dealer Peter Stanley Gant, as he complains to Coslovich about the ramping of certain artist’s prices, the avaricious nature of the art world, and his belief that its chief enthusiasts are tone-deaf in their tastes and wholly obsessed with making money. Never mind that it was a business Gant himself was routinely profiting from, as Coslovich points out to him.

Whiteley On Trial is Coslovich’s detailed and impeccably researched investigation into the Victorian Supreme Court prosecution’s attempt to prove that Gant and Melbourne conservator Mohamed Aman Siddique were engaged in a fraudulent enterprise. The pair was convicted in 2016 – in defiance of a Prasad direction from the trial judge to find the defendants not guilty – but later acquitted when the prosecution with-drew the case on the eve of the appeal.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Published in November 2017, no. 396

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.