Art-dealer for $15 thousand blindly bought paintings from the warehouse: among them there were several works by Willem de Kooning

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The cost of found paintings can be from $30 thousand to several millions.

New York art dealer David Killen talked about the accidental discovery of several works by Willem de Kooning. According to Killen, last year he was offered to buy about 200 paintings, which were stored for a long time in a warehouse in New Jersey. The warehouse once belonged to the employee of the Guggenheim Museum Orrin Riley, then his wife, and later became the property of their acquaintances.

The current owners of the warehouse contacted Killen and offered to purchase the canvasses stored there. The art dealer was shown several works, and they did not make any impression on him. “What they showed me was a bunch of junk, basically,” says Killen.

Nevertheless, he agreed to pay $15 thousand for all 200 paintings—at $75 for each. According to the art dealer, he hoped that in due course he would be able to resell these works at auctions—but he did not count on huge sums.

After the deal was completed, Killen was able to inspect all the paintings and found out that, apparently, he accidentally purchased six works of Willem de Kooning at once. “What are the odds of finding a de Kooning in a storage unit? It’s unheard of!”–recalls his emotions art dealer.

The authenticity of the paintings has not yet been proved, but Killen himself and some other experts are sure that the canvases are real. Among them—Lawrence Castagna, who once worked as an assistant in the studio Willem and Elaine de Kooning. “In my opinion, they are [by de Kooning],” he told the Post. “There’s no doubt about it.” Castanga said.

According to Killen, the cost of discovered works can range from $30 thousand to several millions.


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