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Billionaire Ronald Perelman and mega dealer Larry Gagosian involved in dueling lawsuits

The Art Dossier on September 13, 2012 with 0 Comments

Ronald Perelman and Samantha Perelman at the Vanity Fair kickoff part for the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. Source: David Shankbone

Billionaire Ronald Perelman, net worth of $13.1 billion and ranked as the 63rd richest person in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and mega art dealer Larry Gagosian are suing each other over a $25 million painting and two sculptures.

Perelman filed a lawsuit claiming Gagosian concealed information regarding the resell of Jeff Koon’s Popeye and manipulating the artworks’ prices.

In return, Gagosian claims that Perelman failed to pay the agreed-upon price after the delivery of two works and did not meet the payment schedule for the third piece.

Both sides filed within hours of each other and according to Christine Taylor, a spokeswoman for Perelman, “Gagosian has used his dominance of the market for contemporary art to enrich himself at the expense of his customers. His complaint is frivolous — the works he identifies are fully paid for, and we will seek redress for this improper filing at the appropriate time.”

In response to their statement, Gagosian’s team says, “The gallery prides itself on its relationships and has never sued a client in its over 30 years of business. Such suits are damaging to clients, to artists and to the artworks themselves, often causing negative publicity.”

Whose side are you on?