Jeff Koons sculpture revealed as artwork at centre of dispute

Jeff Koons, Gazing Ball (Centaur and Lapith Maiden, 2013. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner

Jeff Koons’ Gazing Ball (Centaur and Lapith Maiden) (2013), a work that appeared in David Zwirner’s 2013 exhibition Gazing Ball has been revealed as the artwork at the centre of an ongoing dispute filed by Italian Renaissance art dealer, Fabrizio Moretti against David Zwirner. The work was named in an amendment to the complaint in which Moretti is now seeking an increased amount of $6m in damages, The Art Newspaper reports. The work, which appeared in David Zwirner’s 2013 exhibition Gazing Ball, had caught the eye of Moretti who made a purchase agreement on one of the limited edition sculptures and paid a deposit of $400,000. He made the final payment of $200,000 in June 2015, totalling the agreed price of $2milllion. Moretti is claiming that while various numbered editions of the sculpture were delivered to other buyers, Moretti didn’t receive his work, and has accused David Zwirner of unprofessional treatment. The matter was also complicated when it transpired that the editions that were made were not the same work that Moretti had wanted to buy from the exhibition.

A spokeswoman for David Zwirner has said that ‘The lawsuit is entirely meritless,’ and that Moretti had refused to collect the sculpture when told it was ready. Zwirner’s lawyers, who are filing a motion to dismiss, have denied a breach in contract since Moretti ‘did not specify a date or deadline for delivery’ and suggest instead that he has used the lawsuit as a negotiating tactic for a deal he has ‘lost interest’ in. 

19 August 2016