Mary Boone on Thursday asked a Manhattan court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Alec Baldwin alleging that the prominent art dealer knowingly sold him a copy of the original painting he believed he was buying.
Her motion argues that Baldwin waited too long to sue and that he had avoided paying sales tax on the painting, which the two-time Emmy Award-winner believed was Ross Bleckner’s 1996 “Sea and Mirror” but which he later learned was a highly similar work. Baldwin said earlier this year he only recently became aware of a discrepancy involving the painting, which he purchased in 2010.
“Mr. Baldwin’s lawsuit has always been a false and frivolous attack on Ms. Boone and we look forward to seeing it dismissed,” the gallery’s attorney, Ted Poretz, said in a statement. “While Ms. Boone remains a highly respected gallerist in New York and abroad, this incident has only proven that Mr. Baldwin is in need of anger management and an art-history lesson.”
A gallery representative said Baldwin had avoided paying more than $16,000 in New York sales tax on the $190,000 work “by having the painting shipped from New York to California shortly after purchasing it, even though the true destination was New York all along.” The motion cites bills and invoices that demonstrate, the representative says, that upon arrival in California the painting was immediately returned to New York, where it remains.
Baldwin’s spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a Newsday request for comment.