New York dealer Robert Blumenthal has struck back at artist Dean Levin, filing a countersuit for more than $275,000 against the 26-year-old painter. Levin sued Blumenthal in February for $200,000, claiming he had gone mostly unpaid after an exhibition at the dealer’s Upper East Side gallery, open less than a year, where most of his work sold out (see Dean Levin Sues Robert Blumenthal for $200,000 Unpaid After Sold-Out Show).
Blumenthal’s complaint claims that Levin was selling works at a discount out of his studio before the show, undercutting the value of the works for sale at Blumenthal’s gallery, and that Chelsea dealer Marianne Boesky (whom he added to his complaint) was the recipient of some of the works Levin promised Blumenthal.
“Boesky comes in and swoops from underneath!,” Blumenthal’s lawyer, David Haber of Miami, told the New York Observer. “It just goes to show,” he also said, “You go and develop someone’s talent and then they bite the hand that feeds you.” A show of Levin’s work, coincidentally, opens at Boesky on May 3.
The suit posits that Blumenthal paid for Levin’s expenses and art supplies for which he hasn’t been reimbursed. Furthermore, Blumenthal claims that Levin failed to deliver all the works that were agreed on and that Levin damaged the studio Blumenthal provided him, causing water damage to the tenants below. Levin also supposedly delivered oversize works, necessitating an expensive crane and window removal to install them.
Through a press representative, Boesky and Levin declined to comment.
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