Adam Lindemann, owner of the New York gallery Venus Over Manhattan and son of a billionaire natural gas mogul, has been arrested in Montauk, Long Island, and charged with criminal trespassing in the third degree and harassment in the second degree.
According to Lindemann’s lawyer Edward Burke, Jr., the incident took place on July 5 and involved the dealer’s neighbor, former head of Marlborough Gallery Max Levai.
In true small-town fashion, the events were publicized in the weekly police blotter of the East Hampton Press. Around 3:30pm, Lindemann allegedly entered a “building used as an art gallery without permission” through an open driveway gate that had a “No Trespassing” sign posted. The East Hampton Police Department could not immediately provide Hyperallergic with further information, but the local newspaper states that the authorities said Lindemann “also pushed another man in the chest with both hands.”
Lindemann owns Andy Warhol’s former Hamptons home, a 5.7-acre estate named Eothen on Montauk’s south shore. Lindemann purchased the property for $48.7 million in 2015 and reportedly opted not to buy the adjacent horse farm, which was offered as a compound deal with the Warhol estate.
Five years later, Levai bought the ranch. The purchase came on the heels of a messy legal dispute surrounding Levai’s management of his father’s Marlborough Gallery. The gallery had accused Levai of fraud, defamation, and civil conspiracy and sued him for $8 million. Levai countersued for $10 million. In 2021, he turned his new Montauk horse farm into a gallery called “The Ranch.”
Neither Levai nor “The Ranch” were named in the brief report, but Burke identified the gallery owner in his comments made to press outlets, including Hyperallergic. Levai has not responded to inquiries.
When reached for comment, Lindemann called the incident a “ridiculous episode” and referred Hyperallergic to Burke, who said that the root of the issue “stems from Mr. Levai’s continuous activities of operating a commercial business on residential and agricultural property.” The lawyer did not offer further clarification but added, “The word commercial must be stressed here as the supposed ‘No Trespassing Sign’ is met with open gates and hundreds of people streaming onto his property on a weekly basis pursuant to a social media platform that advertises several events.”
Burke called the charges “absurd” and added that he “looks forward to getting this matter dismissed.”
Lindemann faces a misdemeanor charge for criminal trespass in the third degree and a violation for harassment in the second degree. Burke represented his client in court yesterday, July 19, and asked that the trial be moved. The new hearing will take place on August 3.