The New York-based print studio Brand X Editions filed a civil complaint in the New York State Supreme Court yesterday alleging that the artist Christopher Wool and his gallery Luhring Augustine had violated the terms of a production agreement and that it was subsequently owed $6 million from each party.
The alleged agreement concerns a series of monoprints by Mr. Wool that used what the complaint calls a “proprietary mono-printing process that had been created, developed and perfected by Brand X’s master printer, Robert Blanton.” As monoprints, each of the resulting 60 works from the production agreement would be unique and not an edition.
Brand X alleges that Mr. Wool wasn’t sure how the monoprints would turn out and consequently entered into an agreement (over e-mail) whereby Brand X would finance their production in exchange for one-third, or 20, of the finished products. Mr. Wool and Luhring Augustine would then split the remaining 40, according to the complaint’s description of the agreement.
The complaint then describes the production process during which, it alleges, Mr. Wool and the gallery came to realize the works may be more valuable than they’d previously thought. It says that a gallery representative stopped by the Brand X studio and called the prints “beautiful,” adding that they “look like candy.”
Mr. Wool allegedly then tried to talk Brand X into accepting only one-quarter of the works, and then asked to pay for the production costs in exchange for all of them. Brand X refused, and work on the series stopped at 34 monoprints, which the complaint says Mr. Wool now refuses to sign.
The gallery’s owners Lawrence Luhring and Roland Augustine were travelling when The Observer reached out and were not immediately available for comment.