The Chickpea Conspiracy

During the 1960s, Mickey Ruskin regularly let artists eat and drink for free or trade art for sustenance at Max's Kansas City. So when Ruskin ran into financial trouble, artists rallied and held a benefit auction for the bar, on June 15, 1971. Celebrated customers such as John Chamberlain, Roy Lichtenstein, and Willem de Kooning eventually became part owners of the joint, a relationship which has become known as the Chickpea Conspiracy.

Last month, the thick, painty work on paper de Kooning donated was sold by its purchaser's estate at Christie's. It's a bit of a mess, at least to my eye, perhaps not a drawing that de Kooning would miss as much as the Erased one. And it only made $338k against a $400-600k estimate, so I guess I'm not alone.

But anyway, point is, here is a section of the auction catalogue:maxs_kc_auction71.jpg

I though that was all, but the Max's Kansas City website has additional catalogue images, and a barely overlapping artist list. Hey, look, there's David Diao, who is the grownup in the Richteriana show:


Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

post info

first published: April 27, 2012.

next older post:
Richteriana, Postmasters Gallery, 12 May 2012

next newer post:
Canal Zone: Yes Kate Moss

recent projects, &c.

Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99