On the last day of Anselm Kiefer's exhibition at Gagosian Gallery's 24th Street location back in December 2010, a group of peaceful protesters from U.S. Boat to Gaza wearing black shirts printed with the words "Next year in Jerusalem" (the title of the exhibition, pictured) were standing among the glass cases, talking to the hundreds of gallery-goers there to catch the show before it closed. The gallery eventually called the NYPD to remove the protesters, and an officer grabbed non-protester Ingrid Homberg, dragging her from the gallery. Now, ArtInfo reports, Homberg is suing the gallery.
The 59-year-old gallery-goer was speaking to one of the protesters in the massive 555 West 24th Street space on the afternoon of December 18 when the police officer summoned to remove the group grabbed Homberg by her arm and dragged her out of the gallery screaming. She then went to a hospital emergency room to be treated for unspecified injuries Her lawyer, civil rights attorney Joel Berger, who filed the suit yesterday, told ArtInfo, "In all my years of practicing law, I have never seen such brutality take place in such a supposedly civilized setting."
Berger refused to name the figure that Homberg is seeking in damages, or what sum she expects to receive in an out-of-court settlement. He concluded thusly:
I want Gagosian to know that this is a serious matter that affects their public image, not just a lawsuit. They have to understand that this is not something that should happen at their gallery, and that is a matter of public interest.
Though Larry Gagosian, the international gallery mogul who will premiere a James Franco/Gus Van Sant project at his Beverly Hills location tomorrow, isn't quoted in the story, the Twitter @FakeGagosian had this to tweet:
#nocomment #goodluck @artinfodotcom Woman Drags Gagosian to Court in Police Brutality Suit on Eve of @jamesfranco Show