Lawsuit Erupts Over 400 Jörg Immendorff Works

Who really owns the haul?

Jörg Immendorff Photo: Horst Ossinger via Artstation

A new legal struggle has broken out over the estate of the late German artist Jörg ImmendorffDie Rheinische Post has reported.

Though Immendorff died in 2007, his name has recently been a familiar one in the German courts. Since his death, there have been several lawsuits involving the bad-boy Düsseldorf-based artist, including cases over an alleged fake painting, realization rights for some of Immendorff’s sculptures, and inheritance claims from an extramarital son.

The latest lawsuit was filed by the wife of a former co-owner of an unnamed Düsseldorf based gallery. It concerns a set of 396 prints valued at an estimated €300,000 that she claims to have purchased from her husband many years ago when he was co-owner and managing director of the gallery. The former co-owner subsequently had a falling out with his business partner, and the former’s wife requested that she be returned the prints from the gallery. She has also requested any and all revenue achieved by the gallery from the loan and sale of the works since 2009.

The dealer has disputed the ownership claims from his former-partner’s wife and has refused to hand over the prints. He claims that Immendorff loaned the artworks to the gallery and that the works had never belonged to his ex-business-partner or the partner’s wife. According to the dealer, Immendorff had planned an exhibition featuring the works before his untimely death at the age of 61.

Meanwhile, Immendorff’s widow and former student, Oda Jaune, has also laid claim to the prints.

The judge adjourned the current trial on Tuesday due to the multitude of complex ownership claims and declared that she would announce her verdict on November 18th.

This latest case follows a ruling by a Düsseldorf High Court in August that prevented a work attributed to Immendorff titled Ready-made de l’Histoire dans Café de Flore from being destroyed. In that case, Jaune had claimed that the artwork was a copy of the same title from 1987. (see “Court Saves Jörg Immendorff Copy)


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