MANHATTAN (CN) – A retired art dealer was blocked from selling 10 drawings by Jewish expressionist artist Chaim Soutine after the co-authors of the artist’s catalogue raisonne told an art gallery and two auction houses that most of the drawings were fake, Giulio Urbinati claims in New York County Supreme Court.
Urbinati says Maurice Tuchman and Esti Dunow, who co-wrote the Soutine “catalogue raisonne,” warned German art gallery Ketterer Kunst and auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s that the drawings were purported counterfeits. The plaintiff says the sellers backed off based on the defendants’ false statements.
“[C]ontrary to their representations, defendants were aware, or should have been aware through normal and reasonable diligence, that Soutine did draw,” Urbinati claims. “In fact, in or about 1973 Tuchman wrote in a catalogue that Soutine did draw and that drawings by Soutine were found in the Madeleine Castaing collection.”
The plaintiff allegedly bought the drawings from collectors Castaing and Edmee Einsild.
Soutine is famous for his paintings, which fetch millions of dollars, and for drawings he made while hiding from Nazis in World War II.
Urbinati demands $150,000, claiming the drawings are worth at least that much. His attorney is Adam Mitzner with Pavia & Harcourt.