Category: Artist resale royalty

Peter Norton cashes in; what about his artists?

November 9, 2011 | 11:40 am

Twenty-six artworks from Peter Norton's collection brought $26.8 million at auction
Software entrepreneur Peter Norton has reason to celebrate -- 26 artworks from his collection brought $26.8 million at Christie's on Tuesday night. Not one of the lots went unsold. And a few set new records for artists, with Paul McCarthy's "Tomato Head (Green)" leading the pack at $4,562,500.

But will Norton cut the artists in on his windfall? According to the California Resale Royalty Act, a seller or seller's agent (a.k.a. an auction house) must give 5% of the resale price of an "original" artwork to the artist provided that the seller lives in California or the transaction take place there.

Although Norton has multiple residences, he is identified in Christie's news release as "the Los Angeles collector and software entrepreneur." And the 5% in this case is significant: $228,125 just for McCarthy's "Tomato Head." Other artists who could get a cut from Norton's sales include L.A. artists Charles Ray and Mike Kelley and New Yorkers Christopher Wool and Robert Gober. (Italian prankster Maurizio Cattelan does not qualify because of his lack of U.S. residence.)

The auction house, which was sued last month for allegedly not complying with the resale requirement, has stated that it views the law "as subject to serious legal challenges" and "looks forward to addressing these issues in court" but declined to address Norton's sale specifically. Norton has not responded to requests for comment.

RELATED:

Artists sue two auction houses

Artist Mark Grotjahn in battle royal over royalties

Artists' royalty suit may hinge on constitutional issues

--Jori Finkel
Twitter.com/jorifinkel

Image: Paul McCarthy's sculpture "Tomato Head (Green)" from 1994, shown here in a preview of Peter Norton's collection. Credit: Christie's

 

Resale royalty lawsuits filed against nine California galleries

November 2, 2011 |  8:51 am

Artist Robert Rauschenberg, from left, Gov. Jerry Brown, State Sen. Alan Sieroty and accountant Ruben Gorewitz at the signing of the California Resale Royalty Act in 1976. Credit: Harriet Zeitlin

West Hollywood art dealer Manny Silverman says he opened his gallery in 1987 at the urging of abstract painter Sam Francis. Now he’s being sued by the Sam Francis Foundation, as are eight other galleries who allegedly refused to pay a 5% royalty promised to the foundation under the 1976 California Resale Royalty Act.

The other defendants in the class-action suit are the Ace, Leslie Sacks, Hamilton/Selway, Denis Bloch, and Lora Schlesinger galleries in Los Angeles, and Scott Richards, Martin Lawrence and Hackett/Mill in San Francisco. All complaints were filed Wednesday in Los Angeles and San Francisco superior courts by Browne George Ross, the firm that recently filed a pair of class-action suits against auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's under the same law.

Silverman, who called Sam Francis “one of his oldest friends in the art world,” said the word of the lawsuit "comes as a total shock." He added that since opening his gallery, "I have been working with Sam Francis and later his estate. I feel it is a real shame that if the foundation had these thoughts we could not have sat down and talked about it.”

Read the full story about a law that has been described over the years as unevenly publicized and little enforced.

RELATED:

Artists sue two auction houses

Artist Mark Grotjahn in battle royal over royalties

Artists' royalty suit may hinge on constitutional issues

--Jori Finkel
www.twitter.com/jorifinkel

Photo: Artist Robert Rauschenberg, from left, Gov. Jerry Brown, State Sen. Alan Sieroty and accountant Ruben Gorewitz at the signing of the California Resale Royalty Act in 1976. Credit: Harriet Zeitlin

Mark Grotjahn sues Dean Valentine for resale royalties

October 25, 2011 |  9:00 am

Mark Grotjahn's "Untitled (Blue Face Grotjahn)" is the highest-priced work sold by Dean Valentine for which Grotjahn is seeking a royalty payment
The 1976 California Resale Royalty Act, an unevenly publicized and rarely enforced law, has pitted artist against collector before, as artists have sought to collect the 5% of resale transactions promised them under the law. But a number of lawyers say they can't remember another time in recent years when an artist took a collector to court and the two didn't quickly settle.

Click here for the full story about the lawsuit brought by Los Angeles painter Mark Grotjahn against his one-time collector Dean Valentine, which has been moving through the courts on jurisdictional issues for nearly a year now. Both Grotjahn and Valentine say their prime motivation isn't money but the principles involved. The trial is set for March 6, 2012.

RELATED:

Artists sue two auction houses

Artists' royalty suit may hinge on constitutional issues

Christie's contemporary head Brett Gorvy on artists' royalties

-- Jori Finkel
Twitter.com/jorifinkel

Image: Mark Grotjahn's "Untitled (Blue Face Grotjahn)," 2005, which in 2008  sold for $1.217 million including a premium at Phillips de Pury, is the highest-priced work sold by Dean Valentine for which Grotjahn is seeking a royalty payment. Credit: Joshua White; image courtesy of the artist

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