An auction of 40 artworks by the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat has sparked a lawsuit by the artist’s estate against Christie’s.
The estate claims that it did not review the works for authenticity, and that some being sold may be fake. Alexis Adler, the artist’s former lover and roommate, provided the works offered for sale, which include paintings, fashion and scribblings.
Filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the lawsuit alleges false endorsement, false advertising, unfair competition and other claims, and sought unspecified damages and an injunction forbidding the use of Basquiat’s name without the estate’s permission.
Christie’s online auction continues through March 17, with a live auction on Thursday.
Basquiat died in 1988 at age 27 of a drug overdose. His artwork has collectively sold for more than $150 million.