Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to be ethical in the art world

In two easy steps.

Step one:  when the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts sells a $40 million Hopper in order to buy a bunch of contemporary art, say nothing.  Relax.  No reason to be so touchy.

Step two:  when the Delaware Art Museum announces plans to sell $30 million worth of art in order to keep from closing, get out the pitchforks.  Act as outraged as possible.  Rend garments.  And most of all:  PUNISH THEM.

A little thing called ethics, my friends.  Get with the program.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Release the hounds!

Randy Kennedy in the NYT:  Delaware Art Museum Will Sell Works to Pay Off Debt.

How dare they!?  Repulsive Stalinesque scoundrels.  Have they no decency?  Why can't they just fail quietly and go home?

I assume they will be sanctioned and sanctioned good.  This cannot stand.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Prince-Cariou Settlement

As anyone who is interested enough in art law to be reading this blog must know by now, the long-running Prince-Cariou fair use lawsuit has settled.  Terms were not disclosed.  Here is Randy Kennedy.  Here is Brian Boucher.  Here is Julia Halperin.

My take on this is that, after all the drama, we still have no idea what's fair use and what isn't and that's just a fact.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hand-wringers gonna wring

The Art Market Monitor takes on the latest art world "ethical" controversy:  works being loaned to museums ... and then later sold.  Says the Monitor:

"Why this trend should be considered a bad thing... is not clear. The unstated premise seems to be that art gaining value because it has been recognized by curators is a bad thing. But isn’t that what the market needs to see more of? ... [W]ould it be a terrible thing for the public and the art historical establishment to have collectors eager to make loans, even becoming solicitous of curators?"

"Formally severing Detroit’s ownership of the DIA would be at once revolutionary and conservative."

Mark Stryker looks at the implications of the potential "grand bargain" in Detroit.

"In fact, the doctrine of mutual mistake is one of the most complex and confusing areas we encounter in our practice."

The Brothers In Law explain.

"Art world power brokers don’t know what to make of Maximo Caminero."

Jed Perl on the recent Ai Weiwei vandalism.

Does eccentricity raise the value of art?

Via the Freakonomics blog.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Wait, what?

The NYT's Patricia Cohen reports on a new lawsuit by the Basquiat estate against Christie's.  Apparently they complain that Christie's "did not ask the estate's opinion on the authenticity" of certain works it's offering for sale, though, as Cohen drily notes, "the estate's authentication committee was disbanded in 2012."

Saturday, March 01, 2014

"While Mr. Ai has defaced works to make new art, one difference is that, unlike Mr. Caminero, he owned the art before he ruined it."

The New York Times has the latest on the artist "who stunned the art world by smashing a vase by the Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei at the Perez Art Museum in Miami."