|This full page advertisement for Christie's planned auction of works by Jean-Michel Basquiat appeared in the March 2014 issue of Interview magazine.|
Text | Patricia Cohen for the New York Times
Published | March 9, 2014
Christie’s auction house postponed an online auction of Jean-Michel Basquiat works owned by a former roommate of his after Basquiat’s sisters filed a federal lawsuit in early March 2014, arguing that some of the items may not be authentic. After initially saying that the auction would proceed, Christie’s quietly reversed itself, posting a notice on its website: “Our goal is to allow time for all parties involved to reach an equivalent level of confidence in the validity of these items, so that the sale may resume at a later date.”
Alexis Adler, the owner of the auction items, said in an emailed statement that she was disappointed by the decision and that she “looks forward to bringing the Basquiat Estate to the same level of confidence that she and Christie’s share in the unassailable authenticity of these early and seminal works which she acquired from Jean-Michel.”
A number of the items for sale were mentioned in a 1998 biography of the artist, “Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art,” by Phoebe Hoban, who visited the apartment that Ms. Adler shared with Basquiat in the early 1990s. Malu Halasi, a friend of Ms. Adler’s, said there were photographs from 1983 documenting his writings, the notebooks and the scripts that were being offered for auction.
Basquiat died in 1988 at 27 from a heroin overdose. His sisters, Jeanine Basquiat Heriveaux and Lisane Basquiat, argued in their complaint, filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, that Christie’s did not consult with the estate on the authenticity of the items. The estate, however, disbanded its authenticity committee in 2012.
Basquiat siblings file $1 million lawsuit against Christie’s, claiming auction house isselling phony works of the artist