Saturday, February 27, 2016

Motion to Dismiss in Latest Prince Suit

Brian Boucher has a report here.  Background here.

This is an interesting strategic decision.  It's very hard to win a motion to dismiss on fair use.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Settlement in the Met "Suggested Admission" Lawsuit (UPDATED)

I suggest you read Helen Stoilas's report in The Art Newspaper.  Background here.

UPDATE:  More from Randy Kennedy in the Times.  I suggest you read that too.  I'm not recommending it -- don't get me wrong -- only suggesting it.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

"The Knoedler sales only dealt in a difference of degree, not kind, from the wholly legitimate day-to-day business of the secondary market."

"And in that sense, the circumstances surrounding the de Soles' 'Rothko' aren't quite the extreme outliers they're being made out to be."

Tim Schneider on How far is too far?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Knoedler Trial May Be Over ...

... but the Knoedler news keeps coming:  "Jose Carlos Bergantinos Diaz, the alleged partner of Glafira Rosales in her sale of a cache of counterfeit paintings through the Knoedler Gallery, can be extradited to the United States, Spain’s National Court has ruled."

Saturday, February 13, 2016

What it looks like to take the notion of the "public trust" too seriously

In a review of works from the collection of Paul Allen at the Phillips, Pulitzer Prize winning critic Philip Kennicott tells us:

"But the problem with collecting masterworks of great artists is that the act of ownership is in itself a kind of theft, stealing from the public commons of genius. Put another way, once a work of art is important enough to be of interest to a man like Allen, it belongs to all of us. He may not know that, but we do."

Friday, February 12, 2016


The narrative of the week seems to be that we're seeing a "correction" in the art market.  See here, for example, and here.

But I've never understood how that concept is supposed to apply to the art market.  "Correcting" to what?  Why do we assume the newer prices are correct and the older prices were incorrect? Sure, the newer price is lower.  But how do we know that it is more "correct" than the old one?

I still think this may be closer to the mark.

The Top 9 Takeaways From The Knoedler Trial

By Eileen Kinsella and Sarah Cascone at artnet.  I'm (briefly) quoted.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It's over (UPDATED 6X)

Knoedler trial settles.

UPDATE:  Here is the New York Times story.  Here is Eileen Kinsella at artnet ("It was an anticlimatic end to over two weeks of dramatic and often damning testimony ...").

UPDATE 2:  "The fact that this was a fraud from 1994 to 2009 was totally unavoidable to see. We are proud of these clients, who had the resolve to make it to court."

UPDATE 3:  The NYT's Patricia Cohen:  "[Knoedler] must have been worried about what former president Ann Freedman was going to say at trial."

UPDATE 4:  "When a litigant perceives, during the course of a trial, that there’s a good chance he’ll lose his case, there is an impetus to settle."

UPDATE 5:  Some final thoughts from Jay Grimm.

UPDATE 6:  Laura Gilbert's post-mortem.

Sunday, February 07, 2016


Ann Freedman has settled with the De Soles.  The case against the gallery continues.  "The settlement follows damaging testimony about how much Knoedler and Ms. Freedman earned from the sale of more than 30 fakes that were said to be by Abstract Expressionist masters but were actually painted by an all but unknown Chinese artist in the garage of his Queens home."

UPDATE:  "A federal judge told jurors who have been hearing the fraud suit in Manhattan about the settlement and said that they should not speculate about the details or infer anything about the remaining case before them."

UPDATE 2:  Jay Grimm on the news:  "Freedman has claimed for years now that she too was a victim and that she was delighted that this case is going to trial so as to clear her name.  Settling at this juncture does the exact opposite.   From my perspective, then, the only logical way of interpreting the settlement is that Ann Freedman caved in because the trial was not going well for her."

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Knoedler Trial Day 9 (UPDATED 2X)

"I think she may have brought it over in her car."

("It" being an $8.3 million "Rothko.")

UPDATE:  Purchase College's Jeff Taylor:  "If a Chinese immigrant in Queens could do them all quite convincingly, one has to wonder how many other abstract expressionist fakes have been bought and sold."

UPDATE 2:  Laura Gilbert:  Knoedler asked forensic conservator to revise "negative" report.

"Art Dealer Is Arrested on Charges of Selling Fake De Kooning Artworks" (UPDATED)

Brian Boucher has the story here.

UPDATE:  More details about the charges here.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Knoedler Trial Day 6 (UPDATED 4X)

"It's a bit rich."

UPDATE:  New York Times story here.

UPDATE 2:  M.H. Miller here.

UPDATE 3:  Laura Gilbert here.

UPDATE 4:  The Guardian's Jonathan Jones here.

Wrapping Up Week 1 of the Knoedler Trial

M.H. Miller here.

Jay Grimm here.