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Mary Boone Sues Art Advisor Over Sale of KAWS Works

According to a report on Courthouse News, the New York art dealer Mary Boone is suing art advisor Vanessa Buia’s firm after $350,000 worth of works by KAWS appeared at the Galerie Laurent Strouk in Paris after Boone sold the works to Buia. Boone’s lawsuit was filed in the New York Supreme Court last week and alleges that “Buia knew that the gallery would not sell new KAWS works to an unimportant collection, and it would absolutely not allow such works to be exhibited in a location that interfered with a foreign gallery relationship the artist maintained.” Boone further noted that Buia “warranted that she was acting for an important collector of contemporary art whom she identified, a person whose name she undoubtedly knew would be considered appropriate by the gallery and would please the artist.” If Buia had intended to sell to anyone else, the gallery “would have refused to sell the works at all to Buia.” Mary Boone Gallery also claims it originally gave Buia a $60,000 discount when it sold the works to her last April against the total price of $350,000, which it could have presumably asked of another buyer.

Buia, however, has filed a countersuit, and in it asserts that she never identified a buyer for the KAWS works in advance to Boone, citing client confidentiality. Boone claims that according to a paper trail, once the works left her gallery they changed hands several times over the next few days before ending up at Galerie Laurent Strouk in early May. Boone’s suit states: “Not only would the gallery never have consented to a sale of the works to the Galerie Laurent Strouk, or any of the intermediate way stations where, it appears, title briefly resided, the fact that they were displayed in the Galerie Laurent Strouk interfered with the artist’s separate relationship with a different Paris art gallery.” Boone is seeking $60,000 for fraudulent inducement and fraud, plus interest, costs, and fees.