Art dealer Larry Gagosian is being sued by elderly collector Joan Cowles for selling a Roy Lichtenstein painting without her consent. Cowles claims that her son Charles offered the 1964 painting ‘Girl in Mirror’ to Gagosian without gaining her permission to do so. Asserting that the painting was damaged, the dealer sold the work to an unnamed collector for $ 2 million (far less than its market value) and took a $ 1 million commission in the process.
The $10 million suit accuses Gagosian of “such wanton dishonesty as to imply criminal indifference to civil obligations, with reckless disregard of Cowles’s rights”. In response, Gagosian has described the accusations as “outrageous and baseless,” stating that the fault lies with Charles Cowles, who failed to disclose that he had no authority to sell the painting in the first place.