Art Advisor Lisa Schiff, Accused of Fraud by Two Former Clients, Has Vacated Her London and New York Spaces
The veteran advisor allegedly owes $1.8 million on the sale of a painting by Adrian Ghenie.
High-profile art advisor Lisa Schiff appears to have shuttered her SFA Advisory office and showroom in New York less than a week after being hit with a lawsuit by two former clients, real-estate heiress Candace Barasch and lawyer Richard Grossman. She has also left her space at London’s Cromwell Place, a representative for the gallery complex confirmed.
“Unfortunately SFA Advisory is no longer a member at Cromwell Place,” they told Artnet News.
Artnews first reported news of the closure of Schiff’s Tribeca offices, which she opened in late 2018. At the time, she signed a 10-year lease on a two-floor, 1,300-square-foot storefront. She told Artnet News at the time she saw the space as a combination between an office, a showroom for clients, and a community meeting point.
“I don’t want to be a gallery—it’s not what I do,” she told Artnet News at the time. “But I thought, what if I recreate my living room on the ground floor?”
The SFA advisory website appears to be inactive. Neither Schiff nor her attorney John Cahill responded to request for comment.
Barasch and Grossman allege that Schiff owes them a total of $1.8 million, or $900,000 each, related to the sale of a painting by Adrian Ghenie. The suit they filed in New York State Supreme Court on May 11 includes charges of breach of contract, fraud, and conspiracy, among others.
According to the complaint, in April 2021, Schiff alerted Barasch and Grossman that a Ghenie painting, Uncle 3 (2019), was available for purchase. Barasch took a 50 percent share while Grossman and his spouse each acquired a 25 percent interest.
In November 2022, Barasch and Grossman agreed to resell the artwork, entering into the deal, to be brokered by Schiff, via oral agreement. They agreed to sell the work for $2.5 million and split the proceeds after Schiff’s 10 percent commission ($250,000).
The deal was done through Sotheby’s Hong Kong, the complaint says, and the work was delivered to the auction houses’s New York headquarters in December 2022. Barasch and Grossman say they each received an initial payout of $450,000, but were supposed to receive the additional $900,000 each by late March. They filed suit last week when the proceeds had still not arrived by early May.
Sotheby’s declined to comment.
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