Boris Lurie, who died in 2008, was a Holocaust surivor and one of the founders of a radical art protest movement known as NO!art. I’ve blogged about him before. His close friends Clayton Patterson and Dietmar Kirves are sending around a petition to halt an exhibition of Warhol works that opened last week at the National Arts Club in New York, because it is being underwritten by the Boris Lurie Art Foundation. They note that Lurie “explicitly despised Andy Warhol as a consumerist capitalist sell-out.” The exhibition is scheduled to run through Dec. 28.
The foundation was established to preserve and promote Lurie’s art, and to continue the NO!art movement. But Patterson and Kirves have claimed that it is using its considerable resources to promote the interests of the foundation’s board members. The grandest irony of what is a complicated and contentious story filled with many ironies is that Lurie, who pretty much lived like a pauper, left investments worth an estimated $80 million, according to ArtNews. Lurie had amassed the fortune by “buying penny stocks and real estate in his spare time,” the paper reported. He had no heirs, and “his handwritten will specified that his entire estate go toward creating the foundation.”