Larry Gagosian dropped his lawsuit against collector Ron Perelman this week “without prejudice and without costs to either party.” The two men had been suing each other over various issues involving alleged late payment, contract disclosures, and title transfers for the sale of several works by Jeff Koons to Perelman.
Gagosian’s lawyer, Matthew Dontzin, who was not immediately available for comment, sent a letter to the court saying his suit was now moot because Perelman had admitted in filings that the gallery did indeed possess the title to several artworks at issue, including an unfinished granite “Popeye” sculpture by Koons. The gallery had previously promised to drop the suit so long as the court confirmed this title, writing that “it is more important to have an honorable peace based on the terms of the February 2012 Transaction than to pursue the full damages to which it is entitled.”
But Perelman’s attorney, Keith Fleischman, who declined to comment for this story, countered in court filings that they never disputed the titles and that wasn’t really the point anyway. Instead, he wrote, Gagosian’s goal has been “to divert the court’s attention from the real issue between the parties, which is the fraud that occurred.”
Perelman’s lawsuit against Gagosian is going forward as planned.
— Rachel Corbett
This post also appears on Market Watch, ARTINFO’s art market news blog.