Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hoffman Suit

Bloomberg's Lindsay Pollock reports that "Marguerite Hoffman, a prominent Dallas art collector, filed suit this week against Mexican financier David Martinez for failing to keep her 2007 sale of a star Mark Rothko painting a secret." (The work sold for $31.4 million at Sotheby's last night.)

The Art Market Monitor says the lawsuit is "self-defeating": "Caught between her desire for secrecy and the lost value of a foregone public sale, [Hoffman] seems determined to have neither." Lee Rosenbaum has more.

I took a look at the complaint, and the claim seems to be that, because Martinez agreed to keep the transaction confidential, he could never re-sell the work. That is, he is said to have breached the confidentiality clause not in the usual way such clauses are breached -- i.e., by blabbing about it -- but by the mere act of selling.