• gerard van weyenbergh

Gagosian not in a rush to deliver Koons artworks..

Do not ask Jeff Koons to be punctual in the delivery of his works. This is what learned the hard way two collectors who sued the Gagosian gallery, which represents the artist by learning that he was wanted to finish what he was ordered.

On March 4, a New York State judge ruled that film producer Joel Silver's complaint was admissible after Larry Gagosian tried to oppose it over the non-delivery of a Koons sculpture. The sculpture titled Balloon Venus Hohlen Fels, which Gagosian client decided to buy for $ 8 million in 2014. Two days later another court encouraged Steven Tananbaum, the financial director of the Museum of Modern Art, to reach a arrangement with the gallery owner for other works not delivered on time.

Gagosian argued in both cases that deliveries of Koons' works are always approximate in terms of time and that the plaintiffs should initially have insisted on specifying a firm delivery date.

Koons, in fact, takes an enormous amount of time to produce sculptures, as for his legendary "Play Doh" which had taken him 20 years of work, the artist stubbornly seeking perfection for his materials but for the plaintiffs, if he is slow to produce artworks, the gallery is just as slow to satisfy its customers.

Joel Silver argued that when he wanted to cancel his order when he learned that his delivery would be delayed by at least two years, Gagosian told him he would have to forfeit the $ 3.2 million advance he had given him. The gallery owner replied in court that the latter had not made the other payments promised and that he would have to pay the full amount agreed.

Tanabaum's case concerns three sculptures, including a "Magenta balloon Venus," ordered in September 2013, which was to be delivered two years later. So far, the latter has paid $ 13 million for these works, or half of his order, being told that they would be delivered without being able to know when.

In this case, the court was unwilling to determine whether the sculptures were multiples produced in editions of three or five copies of works of art, instead of encouraging both parties to find an arrangement in order to resume their transactions calmly. , New York justice is not always in unison in this kind of trial.

Article we read in artcult.com by Adrian Darmon, March 2019.