Estate

Court dismisses Board of Franz West Foundation

In the ongoing legal feud over the estate of the Austrian artist Franz West, the Austrian Supreme Court has dismissed the board of the Franz West Private Foundation, which currently controls the artist’s estate. The court found that the three person board paid themselves “suspicious" six figure sums in 2012.

According to Austrian daily Der Standard, the board members voted themselves onto the board of “Franz West Werknutzungs GmbH,“ a subsidiary company of the Franz West Private Foundation which received payments from the sale of West’s works.

New catalogue raisonné sheds light on Francis Bacon’s art and controversial life

The forthcoming Francis Bacon catalogue raisonné will offer an unprecedented view into his art—and his controversial private life. Bacon’s surviving oeuvre, totalling 584 paintings, is catalogued in 1,538 pages. Less than a third of the pictures are in museums, with most hidden away in anonymous private collections. Thanks to colour reproductions, some available for the first time, it is now possible to clearly see the development of Bacon’s art.

Although the catalogue will not be published until 30 June, it was launched in London’s Soho—the quarter where Bacon drank and felt at home. Martin Harrison, the editor, has devoted 10 years to the project. He travelled endlessly, failing to locate only one painting, Head with Raised Arms (1955), which was last recorded in Turin more than fifty years ago. The catalogue was funded by the Francis Bacon Estate and although the cost is not being disclosed, it probably amounted to several million pounds.

Former teacher calls for valuable art to be returned for pupils

An extraordinary dispute over three valuable paintings given to a state school by an influential British artist and then confiscated by a London local authority has led to fresh calls for the works to be returned for the schoolchildren.

The three paintings, two still-lifes and a portrait of a cat, are by the late Mary Fedden, the first woman tutor at the Royal College of Art’s painting school. They were taken seven years ago by Brent council during a wider financial scandal that threatened the future of Copland community school in Wembley.

This weekend the council confirmed that the paintings, thought to be worth between £20,000 and £40,000 each, had been handed over to dealers at the leading West End gallery handling Fedden’s work, despite the claim that the artist originally gave the paintings to the school in 2009 to hang in a new art room that was to be named after her.

Battle over $105M Picasso sculpture heats up

The latest filing in the ongoing legal battle between ex-Christie’s Impressionist head Guy Bennett, and power dealer Larry Gagosian exposed further details about the chronology of two competing sales of the same work. It also shines a light on disagreements between Picasso’s heirs about how works in the lucrative, multi-billion-dollar estate are handled and distributed.