Salander forced to cancel last exhibit

October 17th, 2007

via Bloomberg

Bloomberg reports that New York-based dealer Larry Salander had to cancel the opening of his last exhibit yesterday when his London partner removed almost half the works planned for view.

The future looks grim for the dealer and his eponymous gallery, after a lawsuit against the dealer sparked a slew of other clients who said Salander failed to pay and/or make good on promises to multiply their investments.
In an article in the New York Post on October 9th, it’s reported that at least 15 suits have been filed against the gallery, many naming Salander as the defendant. Salander apparently said that “his own creditors are behind on payments and that medical problems he had last year waylaid him and his business,” but he insists that everyone will be paid.

On September 24th, collector Saundra Lane won $4.3 million in a suit filed against Salander because payments on a 1932 painting she sold him weren’t coming in anymore.

Roy Lennox, a senior managing director of hedge fund Caxton Associates, is suing to recover at least $4.6 million and $10 million in punitive damages. He claims that Salander ran an illegal Ponzi scheme. Lennox will be receiving about 6 pieces of artwork from Salander, as well as the library, according to Bloomberg. “If the library is assessed at under $1 million, Salander must make up the difference in jewelry and cash.”
Former tennis star John McEnroe said back in May that the dealer failed to double his $162,500 investment as promised, and former NYO publisher Arthur Carter is suing for more than $1.2 million that Salander owes him.

Aby Rosen, real-estate developer and art collector, who is head of RFR Realty, sued to evict the gallery from the building for being “consistently late” on the monthly $154,000 rent and $29,000 real-estate taxes. This opened up RFR’s option to terminate Salander-O’Reilly’s lease. But Salander says that he’s only been late with the rent twice since the beginning of the lease in December 2004, and RFR just wants him out because they have a buyer for the townhouse or another tenant willing to pay a higher rent.

And as of October 11th, American Express and Bank of America have both filed suits against Salander and his wife for failing to make payments.

According to the Post, Salander was planning on leaving the gallery space at the end of year and said “If I make $100 million on this show, or nothing, I’ve done my last show here. I’m going out on a very high note.”

Unfortunately the exhibit won’t be taking place, as security guards videotaped the removal of several works from the gallery space on East 71st Street to ensure that Salander wouldn’t take anything for himself.

Salander had told PageSix weeks ago that he could sell a Caravaggio old master painting for $100 million if a piece by Damien Hirst could sell for $90 million.

New Art Era [PageSix]
Painted as a ‘scam artist’ [NYPost]
Embattled Dealer Cancels Exhibit as Partner Removes Caravaggios [Bloomberg]
Salander O’Reilly Galleries