The Monet - Mitchell exhibition is currently entering its final days on view at Fondation Louis Vuitton, but in an ironic set of circumstances, the Joan Mitchell Foundation is reportedly suing the luxury fashion house for using a work by the Abstract Expressionist in a Capucines handbag advertisement featuring French actress, Léa Seydoux.
Louis Vuitton advertisement featuring Léa Seydoux promoting the Cupucine handbag in front of Joan Mitchell's 'La Grande Vallée XIV (For a Little While)',from the February 12, 2023 print edition of The New York Times. Courtesy of The New York Times.
News broke yesterday, February 22, when the Joan Mitchell Foundation sent Louis Vuitton a cease and desist letter prompting the house to remove the campaign and issue an apology. “It’s important for folks to understand that this wasn’t something we agreed to,” said Christa Blatchford, the foundation’s executive director, in an interview with ARTnews. “How did it even happen, is my question. I honestly don’t understand how it happened on their side. I really don’t.”
Blatchford also confirmed that LV had contacted the Foundation several times in December inquiring into using several of Mitchell's works for advertising purposes. Each request was denied to maintain their longstanding policy of only promoting Mitchell's art for educational purposes. On February 12, LV pushed with the campaign nonetheless.
“We have documentation of the request. We have all of our agreements, all spelled out, and it was just disregarded," Blatchford added. This is a developing story.