The Evening Standard has yet another story of a tug o’ war over a Warhol painting. But this one is a conflict between a London gallery and a Norwegian collector who lives in the UK. The dealer, Mikhail Zaitsev, was selling a group of works for Tor Uppstrom but lost a group sale when the collector decided he could get more money for his Warhol Shadow painting by putting it up for auction himself. This being the art market, there was also an intriguing little matter of a loan against some of the works made by the gallery to the collector:
Mr Uppstrom, who lives in Kensington and has interests in property and horse racing as well as art, loaned the piece to the gallery as part of a collection of 40 Warhol works. The gallery paid £184,000 for the loan, on the understanding, it is said, that if any pieces were sold, it would recoup the money and earn commission on the sale. Mr Uppstrom could not be reached for comment.
It is claimed one collector was prepared to pay £3.5 million for Shadows as part of a package with other works. But the sale had not been completed by November last year and Mr Uppstrom allegedly told the gallery the painting had to be sent back toSwitzerland and then re-exported back to the UK avoid customs duties.
Mr Zaitsev said: “We had a client ready. We had an agreement it would be sent back within a few weeks. It never returned.”
The High Court writ accuses the owner of stalling by saying he was waiting to ship the piece back with other works, or that he was having difficulty contacting the delivery agents, or that he was in a meeting and would call back, which he allegedly never did. […] The gallery is seeking £2.1 million in damages because the £3.5 million deal fell through when the buyer said he would not take the other paintings without the Warhol
The Mayfair gallery, the tycoon and their £2m battle over ‘missing’ Warhol (The Evening Standard)