Painter Peter Doig wins $2.5 million in penalties against a gallery that tried to force him to take credit for another artist’s work

In a satisfying conclusion to one of the most bizarre legal battles of recent years, Peter Doig had won a $2.5 million sanctions judgment in federal court against the Chicago Exposition sued him to disavow the plate. After, after noisy 2016 experience in which Doig himself I was called to witnessAnd Judge ruling that the artist “did not paint the disputed work at all”.

Judge Gary Feinerman ordered Robert Fletcher (the painting’s owner), the Partlow Gallery in Chicago, and their attorney, William Zesky, to pay $2.5 million in penalties to the defendants.

The defendants had requested attorneys’ fees in the amount of $2.8 million, in addition to $610,398.90 in other expenses. Judge Feinermann reduced the fees from Dontzin Nagy and Fleissig LLP by 20 percent to account for the “opaque bills,” and awarded 50 percent for other expenses to come up with the total number.

“Mr. Matthew S. said:

Peter Doig in 2018. Photo by Presley Ann, © Patrick McMullan.

Peter Doig in 2018. Photo by Presley Ann, © Patrick McMullan.

Turns out the actual artist behind the work in question was an inmate at Thunder Bay Correctional Center in Ontario. Fletcher, who worked as a correctional officer at the facility while studying at nearby Lakehead University, purchased the painting from Peter Duigi, along with classmate-turned-inmate in 1976 through the prison’s fine art education program. After the condemnation of LSD.

Fletcher helped Doige gain membership in the Seamen’s Union after he got out of prison, and bought the painting for $100. It hung in the Fletcher home until 2011, when a visiting friend discovered the signature “Peter Doig”, and identified it as a work by the famous Doig.

That’s when the Partlow Gallery got involved. That this be the work of the famous Scottish artist It seemed reasonable. Doig was known to have spent time living in Canada as a teenager at the time the painting was made, and it seems reminiscent of his style.

Indeed, when the gallery’s owner, Peter Partlow, attempted to sell the painting at Sotheby’s, the auction house was intrigued, asking for more information about Peter Doig’s “fantastic early painting,” writing that “your work has the trademark quirkiness of empty landscapes.” , and a stratified composition indicative of his later work.”

But when Partlow reached out to Doig via artist representatives at Michael Werner Gallery in New York, he hit a brick wall. The artist denied ever having done the painting, knowing Fletcher, or even having been to school in Thunder Bay.

The show sued Doig and Werner employee Gordon VeneKlasen, in April 2013, and insisted that The artist had to lie About painting because he did not want The truth about him being locked out. The suit asserted that by refusing to certify the work, Doig was preventing the plaintiffs from selling it for what they claimed could be up to $8 million.

Doig and his attorneys fired back with all sorts of documents based on his full name, Peter Marryat Doig. Lakehead University did not have his enrollment records, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police did not have records of his drug conviction, and papers from the artist’s high school showed that he was still a student there at the time the work was created.

Lakehead University by Peter Edward Doig, the deceased amateur painter whose drawings became the subject of a legal battle over whether they were actually painted by the famous Peter Doig.

Lakehead University by Peter Edward Doig, the deceased amateur painter whose paintings became the subject of a legal battle over whether they were actually painted by the more famous painter Peter Doig.

They even tracked down Marilyn Doug Bovard, who said she was the sister of the deceased Peter Edward Doig. In September 2013, she confirmed that Doige had spent time behind bars in Thunder Bay, and provided a statement of his 2012 death from a funeral home. (It just so happened, Doige was born April 7, 1955, just over four years before Doige was born on April 17, 1959.)

It was then that the court asked Partlow to consider dropping the case, warning Zieske, the attorney involved in the case, that “If … in that case, you can lose an objectively reasonable basis in the middle of litigation. It is conceivable that at least this is the appropriate time.” .

Instead, the case was pressed for trial. (The judge had the opportunity to dismiss the complaint, but did not, at Fletcher’s insistence that he had known the artist in prison.) The existence of Peter Edward Doig, and the possibility that he painted the desert landscape during his time in prison, are both confirmed by Doug’s ex-wife and art mentor at Thunder Bay.

In the Penalties ruleJudge Feinerman found that the plaintiffs had conducted a reasonable investigation of the facts before taking legal action, but that they “should have begun to have substantial doubt about their claims” soon after the lawsuit was filed.

News of the ruling was first reported on January 2 via an Instagram account @tweetthat I closely followed the original trial. The account questions the ability of the “elderly prison guard and literature dealer” to pay any costs not covered by Zieske’s malpractice insurance company, and Claims that “Bartlow recently DM’d Doig via Instagram offering a bizarre ‘compromise’ to keep Doig’s past a secret,” suggesting that he still believes the painting is from Doig and not Doige.

But after Bovard stepped forward—and once it became clear that no other members of Doige’s family were involved with her account—”continuing litigation after that point was objectively unreasonable because the central claims of the complaint had completely disintegrated under the weight of the contrary evidence,” she said. Feinerman Books.

The judge imposed penalties for all legal proceedings after May 7, 2014, after which they “should have known that their allegations were unfounded and stood no chance of success.”

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