Although Gagosian settled the confounding sale of a Mark Tansey painting that had been partially donated to the Met, the same seller—or, we should say, owner—has another issue with the gallery. According to the New York Post, Jan Cowles claims the gallery overstepped in another transaction:
Court papers filed by Cowles last night state the Tansey, along with a $4.5 million work from Roy Lichtenstein’s “Girl in Mirror” series, were sold by her son, Charles, to Gagosian, “without her knowledge or consent” in 2008-2009. Court papers say the Lichtenstein, in good condition, was shipped to art fairs, then sold to a mystery buyer for $2 million in “damaged condition.” Cowles argues the work was not damaged and may have been sold in a “dishonest fashion.” Her lawyer, David Baum, said, “Gagosian’s conduct was blatant and egregious.” Gagosian’s rep declined to comment.
$14m Suit Hits Gagosian (NY Post)
Kelly Crow got the early release of Christie’s PWC sale in New York this November. The lead lot is Courtney Ross’s Lichtenstein classic comic book painting which is priced at $35m. That work is backed up by a Warhol Liz offered at $16m that overlaps nicely with Christie’s own sale of the late actress’s estate and the Gagosian show of Liz paintings that opens next week downtown.
All of this is because Brett Gorvy knows the big money will pay for Pop art:
Mr. Gorvy said he’s also been monitoring the buoyancy of Pop prices amid recession and figures Warhol still enjoys broad appeal. “The new buyers are the most powerful buyers in the marketplace now,” he said, adding that he’s watched the pool of buyers who can spend $30 million-plus on a Pop painting double in recent years, thanks to wealthy, emerging markets like China and Brazil. “These guys want impactful paintings that are easy to understand.”
Pop Art to Take Center Stage at Christie’s (Wall Street Journal)
Quinn Auction Galleries estimated Roy Lichtenstein’s The Statesman at $40,000 but sold it for $128,700. The local NBC affiliate explains the story (click on image to go to video):
Kelly Crow has the news that Christie’s is selling Roy Lichtenstein’s “Oh . . . Alright” with a third-party guarantee and a $40m estimate which confirms Josh Baer’s reporting:
“Ohh…Alright…” has never been auctioned off before, but it has been shown to collectors on the private marketplace, dealers say. Most notably, it was included in a not-for-sale show of the artist’s “Girls” series two years ago at New York’s Gagosian Gallery. Its familiarity within the marketplace could prove a turn-off to some longtime American collectors, who tend to chase harder after paintings that have been tucked away in a collection for decades. On the other hand, international collectors who are entering the Pop market now are gravitating to artists’ seminal works without paying as much attention to recent market shufflings.
At the market’s peak two years ago, Christie’s privately brokered the sale of another 1964 Lichtenstein redhead, “Happy Tears,” for roughly $35 million, up from the $7.1 million the auction house got for that same work six years earlier, according to Brett Gorvy, Christie’s international co-head of postwar and contemporary art.
Pop Goes the Art Market: A $40m Lichtenstein? (Wall Street Journal)