You can see the subtle shift in the art market by the way people talk about some of its most significant players. Dealers have begun to talk openly about Francois Pinault’s decision to back out of numerous art purchases last fall. (More on that from Jeffrey Deitch in a day or two.) And some of the disappointed have started to fight back. This morning, the New York Times has a brief report on a lawsuit filed against Christie’s by a family trust. George A. Weiss claims Christie’s backed out on a $40 million guarantee for their Francis Bacon painting offered in November’s sale:
The lawsuit, filed in the United States Southern District Court on Friday, claims that Christie’s, in competition with archrival Sotheby’s, agreed to give the trust, Weiss Family Art, a guarantee — a sum promised to the seller regardless of the sale’s outcome — of $40 million for the painting. In order to win the consignment from Sotheby’s, Christie’s sweetened its deal and won the business.
Christie’s Is Sued After Francis Bacon Painting Fails to Sell (New York Times)