Since we’re covering a lot of authentication issues today, let’s add the lawsuit against the Keith Haring Foundation filed late last week. You might remember the incident a year ago in Miami where the Keith Haring Foundation fought with a group showing works by the artist that were not authenticated.
Now some of the owners are suing the foundation and suggesting the rejections were motivated by a desire to limit the number of legitimate Harings and thereby increase the value of those works (an odd argument but a common one nonetheless.)
The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, argues that the foundation’s actions have “limited the number of Haring works in the public domain, thereby increasing the value of the Haring works that the foundation and its members own or sell.” […]
In 2007, a dealer working with Elizabeth Bilinski, one of the collectors, submitted photographic transparencies of several dozen of the works and letters of provenance to the foundation’s authentication committee, which rejected the works as “not authentic,” without explanation, according to the suit.
In March 2013, the plaintiffs exhibited works at a Haring show in Miami; the foundation sued the show’s organizers, claiming that the overwhelming majority of the works in the show were fake and that many had been found “not authentic” by the foundation in 2007, when Ms. Bilinski submitted them.
The lawsuit on Friday seeks $40 million in damages and says the plaintiffs lost sales because potential buyers were deterred by the foundation’s statements and actions.