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Upset Over de Koonings in Promotional Video

MANHATTAN (CN) - An Upper East Side auction house infringed on 69 Willem de Kooning works by including them in a promotional video, the artist's foundation claims in Federal Court.

The Willem de Kooning Foundation sued Keno Auctions and its founder, Leigh Keno, on Friday.

Keno, of East 69th Street, released a "promotional audiovisual work incorporating exact copies of dozens of Willem de Kooning's copyrighted artworks," the complaint states.

The foundation identifies 68 works, most of which are untitled, in an attachment to the complaint. Pieces from the 1949 de Kooning "Gansevoort Street" to "The Dancer" in 1972 are included in the list. The latest dated piece is an untitled work from 1989.

Keno obtained a photograph of the 69th de Kooning work that his video infringes from someone who used to work for de Kooning, according to the complaint.

That work is described only by its registration number with the U.S. Copyright Office. A search of that office's website describes the work in question as "WdK Photo #02105." It is also the only result attached to De Kooning's name. The "2-D artwork" was created in 1989, according to the record.

Netherlands-born De Kooning died in 1997 at the age of 92 on Long Island.


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