Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Murkiest Realm

Also in the Times this week, Patricia Cohen on a lawsuit by the Calder estate against his longtime dealer, Klaus Perls, claiming that he "surreptitiously held on to hundreds of Calder’s works and swindled the artist’s estate out of tens of millions of dollars."  As Cohen tweets:  "Theft, betrayal, Swiss accounts, code names, hush money, fakes. What more could you want ...."  Christopher Knight has a favorite detail in the story: "'Madame Andre' wasn't a person, but a nickname for the Perls Swiss bank account."  The New Yorker's David Grann (whose name may be familiar to regular readers of the blog) says:  "Swiss bank accounts, allegations of betrayal & fraud, & more evidence that the art world is the murkiest realm."  Or, as Michael Wolff puts it:  "Seriously, are there any honest people in art? Or just a corrupt industry?"  For her part, Lee Rosenbaum "find[s] many of the charges by Calder grandson Rower against the late dealer Klaus Perls hard to believe."