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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Gagosian Moves to Dismiss Perelman Lawsuit

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Larry Gagosian ended his half of the legal duel with Ron Perelman when he dropped his lawsuit against his former friend and client in October. Now, he’s filed a motion to dismiss Perelman’s case against him in the State Supreme Court on Friday, calling the lawsuit “frivolous,” the New York Times reports.

Perelman charges that Gagosian deceived him about the valuation of a Jeff Koons “Popeye” sculpture, which he bought for $4 million, and several other works. He also accuses Gagosian of covering up a contractual agreement with Koons that ensures that a large percentage of any resale profits would go to himself and the artist, rather than Perelman.

Gagosian, in turn, has argued that Perelman was late on payments and that the gallery ultimately lost money on a number of transactions. According to Gagosian’s motion, “Perelman taunted the defendants, daring them to sue him if they were not willing to accept his insistence on paying with unwanted works of art instead of cash.”

This is just one of Gagosian’s several legal headaches at the moment. Decisions are still pending in separate lawsuits with collectors Jan Cowles and Charles Cowles.

— Rachel Corbett

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