At last night’s gala at Highline Stages, the Whitney Museum gave its 2014 American Art Award, designed this time around by artist Josephine Meckseper, to Roy Lichtenstein’s widow Dorothy Lichtenstein, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Maramotti Family, the latter known not only for the Max Mara line of clothing but for its philanthropic contributions to visual art, particularly Max Mara Art Prize for women artists. Read More
Back in January, Gallerist reported that Jan Cowles filed a lawsuit against the Gagosian gallery seeking $14 million for various alleged misdeeds by Mr. Gagosian in the sale of a Roy Lichtenstein work from 1964 entitled Girl in Mirror. The resulting legal wrangling has shed light on private aspects of the operation of Gagosian, some of which are not flattering to the dealer.
News might not have broken last week that the lawsuit between Larry Gagosian and collector Robert Wylde had been settled for $4.4 million if a second lawsuit had not emerged from it. This one was filed last week by lawyers for Jan Cowles, the 93-year-old mother of Charles Cowles who, according to that lawsuit, sold a painting to the dealer by Mark Tansey that was, in fact, partially owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (that painting is now fully owned by the museum). The new lawsuit seeks some $14 million from Mr. Gagosian for various alleged misdeeds in the sale of Roy Lichtenstein’s Girl in Mirror, a porcelain-enamel-on-steel work from 1964. It alleges that Mr. Cowles never had the authority to sell the painting, and accuses Mr. Gagosian of misrepresenting the state of the painting when he sold it. Multiple editions of the painting exist, and the complaint, in effect, accuses Mr. Gagosian of using a condition report for another edition of Girl in Mirror as proof that the Cowles version was damaged.
A grueling 91-lot contemporary art sale at Christie’s last night paid off, bringing in a total of $247.6 million with premium included, within its pre-sale estimate of $226.5 million-$312.3 million. At least 13 auction records were set over the course of the evening, including new high marks for Paul McCarthy ($4,562,500), Barbara Kruger ($902,500), Louise Bourgeois ($10,722,500), Charles Ray ($3,106,500) and Roy Lichtenstein ($43,202,500). It was a “marathon sale” in the words of department head Brett Gorvy, but a lively one for the most part.