I read the title of this story on the Art Newspaper (Rauschenberg sues artist for selling his trash) and didn’t think nice things about Rauschenberg. I thought it must be a rich and famous artist releasing his lawyers on a poor struggling artist because the hounds needed to stretch their hairy legs.
But, the article says “According to Rauschenberg, in 2007 the defendant, Robert Francis Montgomery of Florida, who also paints under the name of Robert Fontaine, sold works purportedly by Rauschenberg which Rauschenberg did not create, with certificates of authenticity. Rauschenberg alleges that this violated his rights under VARA to protect the attribution of his work.” Art Newspaper
It goes on to explain that the artist found large negatives in the trash of Rauschenberg in 1998, which I think is fine if you sell it as Robert Rauschenberg Rubbish (it is the age of recycling!), but Montgomery has sold it as a finished Rauschenberg work with a certificate of authenticity.
There’s a big difference between selling an artist’s trash and selling an original work with a certificate of authenticity. So, release the hounds Mr Rauschenberg.