November 2008 was pure living hell for the art auction houses. The bottom had just fallen out of the market ... and they were still saddled with pieces for which they'd offer guaranteed minimums. This is exactly what happened with Roy Lichtenstein's "Half Face with Collar."
The 48 square inch painting went under the gavel at Sotheby's almost a year ago, with the seller, Italian art dealer and collector Gian Enzo Sperone, protected by a $15 million minimum by the house. Now, it's on display at FIAC, right next to Andy Warhol's "Green Disaster," in the Projet Moderne section.
For many, the question of who owns the Lichtenstein painting has been raised. Is the fact that it's hanging as an entry from the Gagosian Gallery meaningful? A source at FIAC tells Bloomberg News that it is: "Larry owns it and it's definitely for sale."
It would be poetic, of course, for the piece to fetch the $15 million it failed to reach last November, but for now, all we can do is wait for the result (if any).