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Knoedler Under Attack: The Diebenkorn Chapter

The closing of Knoedler & Company gallery sent a ripple through the art market, which will take years to settle.  One of the players in the fight against the gallery and its former president, Ann Freedman, is the Diebenkorn clan, which is trying to build a case using events dating back to 1993, when the gallery acquired drawings attributed to Richard Diebenkorn. Apparently, Knoedler was the official gallery for Diebenkorn’s works for more than 20 years.

According to the Diebenkorn family, authenticity of two works acquired from a Long-Island dealer, Glafira Rosales, was doubted immediately after they arrived at Knoedler. Still they were sold despite their concerns. Attorney representing former president of the gallery, Nicholas Gravante, Jr., of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, avers that there is definitive documentary evidence confirming that works were viewed by the family and deemed authentic.

The gallery is facing suits from collectors who have purchased paintings attributed to Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. They are seeking a reported $42 million in damages.

Image: R. C. Kemper Charitable Trust. One of the drawings said to be by Richard Diebenkorn that is in dispute.