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Will Dispute over Alleged Warhol Works Finally be Resolved? (NY)

January 14, 2011

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Plaintiff Gerard Malanga was, for a number of years, the “right hand man” of Andy Warhol. Defendant John Chamberlain is a famed sculptor, who was a good friend and colleague of Warhol. The two have been involved in litigation for more than five years over a series of portraits of Chamberlain’s face.
Malanga claims that he and other artists created the Warhol inspired works, without any direct involvement by Warhol. Malanga also claims that the works were given to Chamberlain to store at his apartment, and they remained in Chamberlain’s possession for several years.
In 2004, Malanga learned that Chamberlain sold the works for $5 million, alleging that the portraits were created by Warhol. Malanga then demanded the return of the works and filed a replevin action. Chamberlain alleges that Warhol did create the portraits, which he gave to Chamberlain in exchange for a sculpture. Chamberlain then assembled the portraits into a single work, which he sold in 2000.
Chamberlain recently moved for summary judgment for a second time, but both times the Court denied the motions as the two factual accounts are simply too different. The matter is now set for trial. Will this matter finally come to an end? Stay tuned.
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