Claims Dismissed in Fraud Case Involving Pollock Paintings

Jackson Pollack, Number 19 (1948)

In June, artnet News reported that rare gems dealer Anders Karlsson was involved in multiple lawsuits that he had brought against various parties for breach of contract related to interest he acquired in works purportedly by Jackson Pollock that he said turned out to be fraudulent. In the suit filed in January against various defendants (see “Jackson Pollock at Center of $2.8 Million California Fraud Suit“), the claims by Karlsson against two parties, Gene Ewing and Renen Ovando, have been dismissed.

In that suit, Karlsson claimed that Ewing and Ovando had breached an agreement whereby Karlsson was set to receive a 30 percent interest in two paintings purportedly by Abstract Expressionist master Jackson Pollock, called Drips on White and Drips on Black, which had been damaged by fire. According to the suit, the paintings had been valued at $40 million in their damaged state, and between $150-$250 million in restored condition, which seemed out of proportion to Pollock’s record at auction, which at that time was $40 million (for an undamaged work), and today is $58.4 million for his painting Number 19.

The attorneys for Ewing and Ovando noted the settlement in a letter: “Anders Karlsson has settled his action with Gene Ewing and Rene Ovando, and all of his claims and allegations against them are dismissed with prejudice.”

As far as we know, the claims against the other defendants in that suit (Maria Avelino, Honey Generoso, Catalina Generoso, and Connie Josephine Troncale) still stand, as does the case filed in June against Leslie James, Jovian “John” Re, Raven Art, Inc., and others, alleging “multiple interlocking fraudulent schemes” involving fake or forged works by Pollock and other “renowned deceased artists.”

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