Closed New York Gallery Settles Suit Over ‘Forged’ Pollock

Manhattan’s Knoedler & Co. art gallery, which closed last year, agreed to settle a lawsuit by hedge fund manager Pierre Lagrange over an allegedly forged Jackson Pollock painting he bought for $17 million.

Lawyers for Lagrange, the gallery and the gallery’s former director, Ann Freedman, yesterday filed a stipulation to dismiss the case in federal court in Manhattan. Terms of the settlement are confidential, Nicholas Gravante, Freedman’s lawyer, said.

“Ms. Freedman continues to move forward, focusing on her artists and her gallery, and is pleased to have this litigation behind her,” Gravante said in a phone interview.

Lagrange, the co-founder of London-based GLG Partners Inc., sued in December 2011, alleging the Pollock painting he bought four years earlier, Untitled 1950, was a forgery. When he tried to sell the painting, both Sotheby’s Inc. and Christie’s Inc. rejected it because of it wasn’t included in the definitive catalogue of the artist’s works, Lagrange said.

Knoedler, founded in 1846, closed its doors a day after Lagrange provided the gallery with an expert report that the painting was a fake, according to the complaint.

The case “settled amicably,” Freedman said in a statement provided yesterday by her lawyer.

Matthew Dontzin, a lawyer for Lagrange, and Charles Schmerler, a lawyer for Knoedler, didn’t immediately return calls to their offices after regular business hours yesterday for comment on the settlement.

The gallery has also been sued by other art collectors, including Tom Ford International Chairman Domenico De Sole and his wife, who claim they were sold a fake Mark Rothko painting for $8.3 million in 2004. That lawsuit is still pending, according to the electronic docket in Manhattan federal court.

The case is Lagrange v. Knoedler, 11-8757, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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