The Judd Foundation Is Suing Two Galleries for ‘Disfiguring’ an $850,000 Donald Judd Sculpture With Fingerprints

Artnet News
October 6, 2022

Nicholas O'Donnell was quoted in the article, "The Judd Foundation Is Suing Two Galleries for ‘Disfiguring’ an $850,000 Donald Judd Sculpture With Fingerprints," which was published by Artnet News on October 6, 2022.

The article discusses an ongoing lawsuit in which the Judd Foundation, which oversees the Marfa and New York City homes and workspaces of Donald Judd, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court against two galleries it claims left irremovable fingerprints on an $850,000 work by the late artist, rendering it worthless.

When the galleries failed to secure a buyer for the piece, it was brought back to Marfa, Texas and examined by a Judd Foundation conservator, who immediately noted that the work had been disfigured by fingerprints. “The parties agreed that the damage was almost certainly irreversible, and the work was therefore no longer saleable,” the complaint claimed.

To cover the damage to the piece, the galleries' insurance brokers paid the foundation $680,000—80 percent of the fair market value for the artwork. But the lawsuit is asking the galleries to cover the additional $170,000. The foundation is also seeking interest, $100,000 in damages, and attorney’s fees.

Nick commented on the matter saying: “Insurance companies don’t like to write checks, so their decision to write a very significant check certainly strikes me as meaningful in terms of whatever the damage to the sculpture was.”

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