Top Collector Ron Perelman Sold 71 Works Worth $963 M. by Picasso, Warhol, Basquiat and Others to Repay Banks

Businessman Ronald O. Perelman, who appeared on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors several times and was once a frequent Gagosian client, sold 71 artworks by blue-chip artists for $963 million between 2020 and 2022, according to recently unsealed court filings.

The 71 works included multiple pieces by Cy Twombly, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Alberto Giacometti, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Ellsworth Kelly, Brice Marden, Jasper Johns, Egon Schiele, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anish Kapoor, Mark Rothko, Francis Bacon, and Jackson Pollock.

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The sale of the artworks through Sotheby’s auctions and private sales occurred after the value of shares of Revlon Inc., which his holding company had acquired for $1.74 billion in 1985, fell significantly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global stock markets. Perelman has been using those as collateral for loans.

While there had been previous reports about Perelman selling off “a large portion of his sprawling 1,000-item art collection,” the recent court filing in a four-year-long insurance court case is the first account released to the public of all the works sold, according to Bloomberg Law, which first reported the news.

Deutsche Bank issued the margin call—a request for additional capital in a brokerage account—that prompted the businessman to sell the 71 artworks and other assets. The financial institution also lent against the billionaire’s art.

At least two of the artworks from Perelman’s collection went to another Top 200 Collector: Ken Griffin. The founder of Citadel and long-time trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago, Griffin purchased Brice Marden’s Letter About Rocks #2 and River 4 for $30 million and $9.5 million after visiting Perelman’s home in the Hamptons in 2020.

A representative for Perelman declined to comment to Bloomberg Law.

Source: artnews.com

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