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Sotheby's2016cThe day after Basquiat’s Despues de un Puno was pulled from their London Evening Sale, Sotheby’s stock price fell to $18.86, before closing at $19.15.


NYTBNew York Theatre Ballet, including Zhong-Jing Fang, will be performing at New York Live Arts February 24-27.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

Desole2Domeneco and Eleanor De Sole have entered into an agreement that ends all claims against Ann Freedman over their $8.4 million purchase of a bogus Rothko painting from the Knoedler gallery in 2004. The suit against the gallery continues.

Why was there a settlement? Perhaps it was a sincere attempt on the part of Ms. Freedman to make the De Soles whole again. Perhaps the De Soles knew that if the case had gone to the jury, they might have found Ms. Freedman guilty of fraud, but they might also have opted not to award damages to the De Soles — because of mitigating circumstances, like the fact that the De Sole’s art adviser had authenticated the fake Rothko painting purchased by them.

Update 2/10/16: The De Soles have now settled with Knoedler & Co. gallery too.

Warhol-MorganPhotograph: Stephen Wise

DavidAnfamDr. David Anfam, recognized authority on the paintings of Mark Rothko and Senior Curator at the Clyfford Still Museum, testified today at the De Sole/Knoedler art fraud trial going on in Manhattan.

Commenting on Freedman’s efforts, as president of the now defunct Knoedler Gallery, to get a burnt ‘Clyfford Still painting’ into the Clyfford Still Museum, he quipped: “It’s a bit rich…an alleged fragment of an alleged Clyfford Still painting into the Clyfford Still Museum.”

SelwynDance2016fSelwynDance2016nSelwynDance2016lSelwynDance2016jAmanda Selwyn Dance Theatre held their annual White Night 2016 fundraiser Thursday evening. Ms. Selwyn’s lastest work Refuge, inspired by Francesco Clemente’s Encampment, Refuge, was presented.

In addition to creating entertainment, Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre offers arts-in-education programming through Notes in Motion Outreach Dance Theatre to children in NYC public schools.

Photographs: Stephen Wise



AnnFreedmanDomenicoDeSole2Picasso once said: “In my case a picture is the sum of destructions.” For Ann Freedman, leaving court in Manhattan today, the sum of destructions is dozens of fake master artworks from the ‘Rosales Collection’ — that she sold from 1994-2008, with wreckage for collectors in the tens of millions of dollars.

The trial underway this week concerns a fake Rothko, Untitled, sold by Freedman in 2004, while president of Knoedler & Company, to Domenico De Sole, Chairman of Sotheby’s (bottom photo) for $8.4 million. The plaintiff is seeking $25 million in damages.

The job of the jury in this case, to work through reams of evidence and deceptions — and deliver justice, will be especially daunting. After the first day of testimony, one of the jurors, claiming to have had a nervous breakdown, left the the trial.

It seems the outcome of the trial will hinge on whether the defense can prove that Freedman was duped by the forgers, and some art experts, thereby selling fake paintings unknowingly, or the plaintiff can prove that Freedman acted knowingly in a cabal with the forgers and art experts, in ways that defrauded collectors and museums (Mr. De Sole in particular).

At least five other plaintiff’s law suits, brought by parties that bought fake paintings from the gallery, have been settled by Ms. Freedman & Knoedler.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Snow2016-ArtistSnow2016fChinese American artist (formerly Pre-K art teacher) in action in Queens, NY.


Guggenheim-WetPaintSolomon R. Guggenheim Museum


Sotheby's2016Sotheby's-Americana1Sotheby's-Americana“Americana Week,” at Sotheby’s, arrives with the American auction house reeling under a sinking stock price and sky rocketing debt.

Management seems to be joining the dark-arts of Wall Street with opaque art-world practices to produce black holes for shareholders, creditors and collectors.

The result can be an art experience that undermines society rather than edifies it.


Stephen B. Wise


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