In a letter from August 18th, Ron Perelman’s lawyers wrote to the New York supreme court to “respectfully request” the enforcement of a subpoena of the Mugrabi family, and their transactions–dating back to January, 2010–with Larry Gagosian, whom Perelman is suing over the sale of a work by Cy Twombly. The news of the subpoena broke in the New York Post on Monday, but the letter appeared on the New York court system site Thursday afternoon.
The letter states that Gagosian and the Mugrabis engaged in “a collusive effort to inflate the price” of the Twombly painting. It also contains a heavily redacted timeline of the case, from Perelman’s first viewing of the Twombly in April, 2011, where the work was said to have a price tag of $8 million, to his initial offer to purchase the painting and Gagosian’s subsequent claim that “the work…had been sold to another party.” Here, the timeline has one blacked-out entry.
It picks up again a month later, with Gagosian telling Perelman that the work was available again for $11.5 million. Perelman ended up purchasing the Twombly in October, 2011 for $10.5 million. The timeline then states, “According to the Mugrabis, in October 2011, ‘Gagosian bought [the painting] back, paying the Mugrabis a premium over the original purchase price and reselling it, for a profit.” After this is another blacked-out section.
“There are significant questions surrounding” this chronology, according to the letter, some of which no doubt have to do with the redacted portions. Gagosian has said that the Mugrabis have “produced all of their documents concerning the painting.” The subpoena demands a “comprehensive discovery” of Gagosian’s dealings with the family. The full letter is below.