Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Salander Show "Indefinitely Postponed" (UPDATED)

The New York Sun reported yesterday that two big shows set to open today would either "make or break" Salander-O'Reilly Galleries. This morning the Sun reports that "break" has the edge:

"The opening of two art shows today at [Salander-O'Reilly Galleries] has been indefinitely postponed and may be cancelled .... Mr. Salander said his partner in the show, Clovis Whitfield, a London art dealer, told him he had decided to withdraw his paintings from the show, including a Caravaggio ... which the two aimed to sell for $100 million. Mr. Whitfield told the Sun ... that in this 'uncertain situation' he couldn't continue to be involved in the show. ... 'We were not quite sure if the gallery would stay open for the show,' Mr. Whitfield told the Sun. 'We were very concerned for the welfare of our pictures and those of our clients.'"

More from Bloomberg: "At 5 p.m. yesterday, guards were videotaping the art as it was being removed. Lawyers walked in and out, two hours before guests were expected at the gallery .... An unidentified young man who left the gallery with Salander struck a Bloomberg News photographer. Salander unsuccessfully tried to restrain the man. The latest developments cast doubt on the future of the 31- year-old gallery."

UPDATE: Callen Bair wonders "what took Whitfield so long to figure out that no upstanding collector is going to buy an exceptionally overpriced — it may be a masterpiece, but it's still overpriced — painting of questionable provenance?"