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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Who Owns Arshile Gorky Pirate Painting?

MANHATTAN (CN) - A man claims Joseph Carroll and Edelman Arts did him out of Arshile Gorky's "Pirate II," a $2 million painting in which Morton Bender says he bought a half interest in 2004.

Bender claims that he and Lawrence Salander, of Salander Galleries, bought Gorky's paintings, "Pirate I & II," for a total of $4 million at a Paris auction.

Salander is not named as a defendant in this federal case. But Bender claims that "Instead of marketing and selling Pirate II, Salander Galleries entered into a series of improper transactions, without plaintiff's knowledge or consent, culminating in subsequent sale of interests in Pirate II."

Bender claims that Salander Galleries transferred ownership of the painting to "The Seven Salander Children Group ... [in] a sham transaction which was undertaken for the sole purpose to defraud". He claims that defendants Carroll and Joseph P. Carroll Ltd. then "entered into an exchange/buy-back agreement with The Seven Salander Children Group for the transfer of Pirate II in exchange for two paintings of lesser value."

Edelman Arts has the painting now and displayed it at the Armory Show in early March, Bender says. He seeks declaration of ownership and damages for conversion and unjust enrichment. He demands $5 million. He is represented by Joseph Cervini Jr. with Todtman, Nachamie & Spizz.

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