Monday, April 28, 2008

Agam Again

Yaacov Agam's sculpture is back on view in downtown Chicago -- or is it?

The work -- mentioned earlier here and here -- "was originally dedicated in a ceremony with Mayor Harold Washington in 1983, becoming a part of Chicago's famous outdoor art gallery that also features works by Picasso and Marc Chagall." Its paint began to fade and peel, and three years ago was taken down for restoration. Agam is deeply unhappy with the quality of the restoration -- to the point that he takes the position that what is now on view is not a restored version of the original work but, instead, an unauthorized derivative work, in violation of his rights under copyright: "'The public should know that this is not a real Agam,' he said by phone Thursday from Paris. 'It is an unauthorized copy.'" (Because it's a pre-1990 work, VARA does not apply.)

Agam said he plans to travel to Chicago on May 3 to inspect the work and consult with his attorney there about possible legal action.