Ronald Perelman’s Lawsuit Against Larry Gagosian is Dismissed

Ron Perelman in 2014. Photo by Jimi Celeste, courtesy of Patrick McMullan.

The lawsuit billionaire art collector Ronald Perelman filed against mega-art-dealer Larry Gagosian in 2012 was dismissed yesterday by the New York State Supreme Court.

Carol Vogel reported the news in her column ArtsBeat, her first since announcing that she was resigning after 30 years.

While the larger purpose of Perelman’s lawsuit might have been to reveal the “dirty” side of the art world, it seems that the collector had a very specific problem with his former friend Gagosian—rather than with the art world at large.

The collector claims that Gagosian both overvalued artworks he sold to Perelman, and undervalued artworks that he bought from Perelman, pocketing hefty differentials in the process.

Although the lawsuit concerned a group of high-profile artworks that changed hands between Perelman and Gagosian (including sculptures by Jeff Koons and Richard Serra) the collector seems particularly irked by a transaction regarding a Cy Twombly painting that he bought from Gagosian for $10.5 million.

Perelman claims that Gagosian overcharged him for the painting, and that the dealer also undervalued the works Perelman gave him in exchange for the painting, instead of cash.

Following news of the lawusuit’s dismissal, Gagosian’s lawyer Matthew S. Dontzin declared: “Justice was done today. We are gratified that the court unanimously dismissed this case, supporting our view.”

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