Franz West Archive Sues Gagosian Gallery

The Vienna-based archive of Franz West is suing Gagosian Gallery. (Thanks to Hyperallergic for alerting us to the news.)

The claim filed is a copyright lawsuit that accuses the gallery of presenting “unauthorized” versions of West’s work, according to Courthouse News. West’s furniture art entered the gallery’s possession via a foundation established in his name five days before his death in 2012. However, a commercial court of Vienna ruled that the archive was owner of West’s furniture works.

“The fact that the furniture that Gagosian plans to sell is an unauthorized—essentially, an imitation—version of West’s work is not disclosed to the potential buyers,” lawyer Eric Seiler wrote on behalf of the archive.

But Gagosian’s attorney Matthew Dontzin responded: “This is not a case where an established copyright holder seeks to enjoin the production and sale of knockoffs.” Dontzin added, “The archive’s dispute here is not with Gagosian Gallery, but with the foundation. Gagosian Gallery does not manufacture any furniture, and it is selling the furniture only in its capacity as the foundation’s consignee.”