Alexandra Peers details the lawsuit between Craig Robins and David Zwirner in the New York Observer:
Craig Robins, the well-known Miami real estate developer, is charging in his lawsuit that he sold a painting by noted South African artist Marlene Dumas in 2004, with Mr. Zwirner brokering the deal. Mr. Zwirner paid him in both cash and other artworks, in what’s called a like-kind transaction in the Internal Revenue Code. Mr. Zwirner agreed to keep the sale confidential, according to the suit, because the sale would be something of an affront to the artist and might prevent Mr. Robbins from gaining access to her other works.
Then, Mr. Robbins charges, Mr. Zwirner gossiped, and gossiped with a motive. He told Ms. Dumas of the sale. Not long after, Mr. Zwirner became Ms. Dumas’s primary representative, a coup for the art dealer, as she had a 2008 retrospective of her work at the Museum of Modern Art, among other achievements. Meanwhile, Ms. Dumas, Mr Robbins said, does not want to sell him any more paintings, even though, with six to eight of her paintings in his collection, and many more drawings, he is one of her primary collectors. Further, Mr. Zwirner had agreed to put him at the top of the waiting list for her works, and did not honor that promise, he said.
Zwirner, of course, says he violated no agreements but suggests that Robins was speculating in Dumas’s work. Robins puts that down with this quote: “In nearly 30 years of collecting over 1,000 works of art, I have sold perhaps 50 of them”