In 2016, London art dealer James Mayor brought suit against Pace Gallery, Arne Glimcher, and member of the Agnes Martin catalogue raisonné committee for not including 13 works by the artist that he had sold for a total of $7.2M. In 2018 Judge Andrea Masley dismissed the case and awarded the defendants their legal fees; but that was not the end of it.
James Mayor, and his legal council, pressed the issue to try and recover $7.2M in damages; once again, Pace Gallery, etc., came out on top. The same judge ruled that the committee had the right to accept or decline any work they want. She went on to state that “Whether any catalogue raisonné’s inclusion or non-inclusion of an artwork has any bearing on the work’s value has been recognized by New York court’s as a function of the art marketplace, and it is not for the court to determine what the art market should or should not credit as reliable.”
This is a positive outcome for other catalogue raisonné projects. The sad part is that, once again, Mayor plans to appeal the decision – more money wasted and more grief for the defendants. The only winners here are the attorneys.