Collector Adam Lindemann arrested after shoving rival dealer Max Levai

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The art dealer who once sued his gallery’s mega-collector landlord in an attempt to get out of his lease has taken his real estate-related anger to the tip of Long Island. Adam Lindemann, the founder of New York’s Venus Over Manhattan gallery who made more than $30m from a Christie’s auction of three dozen works from his private collection in March, was arrested in the Hamptons on 5 July for trespassing and harassment after he allegedly paid an unwanted visit to fellow dealer Max Levai and pushed him “in the chest with both hands”, according to a police report. It appears that he was mad about Levai’s zoning violations.

The story surfaced this week courtesy of Artnet News reporter Annie Armstrong, whose interview with Lindemann’s lawyer, Edward Burke Jr., revealed both the victim of and possible motive for the outburst. “Mr. Levai apparently has several issues with the town of East Hampton related to violations of the zoning code,” Burke told the outlet. “These frustrations should be addressed to the town, and not my client. I’m very confident that these charges will be dropped.”

Levai’s zoning offences likely stem from a dispute over a drainage system at his horse farm and art space, The Ranch, and the health of a neighbouring wetland, which was reported recently in The East Hampton Star. Levai (son of art dealer Pierre Levai, formerly of Marlborough Gallery) bought the ranch in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, around the same time that Lindemann was suing his landlord. The plot had previously been the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders trainings, parties with Andy Warhol—coincidentally, Lindemann owns Warhol’s neighbouring Eothen estate, which he tried and failed to sell in 2020—and Billy Joel and James Brown concerts, Levai told Ocula in March.

According to Artnet News, Lindemann did not appear for his court date on 19 July, sending Burke in his stead to request that the trial be moved. Burke told the outlet that Lindemann intended to plead not guilty. “These charges are absurd,” he said. “My client has been to The Ranch many times since the opening three years ago.”

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