Wednesday, May 29, 2019

"According to the District Court of Puerto Rico, the artist has no claim for the destruction of the mural (because it is site-specific)" (UPDATED)

Amelia Brankov on a VARA decision out of Puerto Rico.

The decision is here.  It's an application of Phillips v. Pembroke, which I discussed here and here.

UPDATE:  Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento says "it seems to me that this case is not so much about site-specificity as it is about whether or not the artwork can be removed."

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

"For five years and counting — the latest lawsuit came Friday — the artist’s family, friends and associates have been trading lurid courtroom allegations of kidnapping, hired goons, attempted murder by Brazil nut, and schemes to wring even more money out of what was already one of the most profitable art franchises in modern times." (UPDATED)

Amy Chozick in the New York Times on the sad saga around Peter Max.

UPDATE:  The Art Market Monitor says it's less a story about Max than it is about Park West Gallery, "a company called out many times for its abusive practices ‘auctioning’ art on cruise ships. Their auctions are really a form of theater where buyers act out an auction for low-value art they’ve been told is an asset."  Some Park West background here.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Tell me again about the public trust (300 Chinese artworks edition) (UPDATED)

The Art Institute is selling 300 works that, having fallen under the aegis of a museum, are not held in the public trust for present and future generations and will not cause potential donors to ask themselves "Why should I give this to you?  What guarantee do I have that you're not going to sell this tomorrow?"

It's really a fortunate thing that museums do not hold works in the public trust and so are able to make these kinds of sales when necessary.

UPDATE:  It's a deaccessioning "spree."

Thursday, May 23, 2019

"Ai Weiwei Is Suing Volkswagen for Using His Installation of Refugee Life Jackets in an Advertisement"

In Denmark.

"The policy is being made possible by a $10 million donation by the board president, Carolyn Clark Powers."

LA MOCA is going admission free.

So here's a question:  suppose a museum that isn't lucky enough to have a board member like Carolyn Clark Powers could accomplish the same thing by selling a single work of art from its collection.  Would that be worth doing?  If not, why not?

Saturday, May 18, 2019

"Under New York law, you better put your blinds down. He’s lucky he wasn’t standing there buck naked."

Breaking:  "Alex Rodriguez ‘Has No Case’ Against Photographer Of Viral Toilet Photo Under Lenient New York Law."

First appearance for A-Rod at the blog, and, I think (but would have to double check), first use of "viral toilet photo."

But not the first appearance of the legal issue it presents.  See here.

"Actor and Artist Val Kilmer Says He Definitely Did Not Steal an Artist’s Idea for a Sculpture, Despite a Lawsuit"

"Texas-based sculptor Bale Creek Allen filed a lawsuit last fall claiming that Kilmer stole his idea for a golden tumbleweed sculpture. Allen, who has been selling his own tumbleweed sculptures for several years through galleries in Texas and New Mexico—including one he runs himself—asserts that that actor knowingly took his concept and copyrighted means of production."

"The infamous Abstract Expressionist forgery ring that rocked the art world is back in the headlines." (UPDATED)

"Last week, a federal judge in Manhattan set a July court date to determine whether Michael Hammer, the former owner of the infamous Knoedler Gallery, which sold tens of millions of dollars worth of fake art, could be held liable for the sales."

UPDATE:  Comments from Nicholas O'Donnell.

"Western Museums Have a Surplus of Art by White Men. Now Some Are Selling It Off to Correct Their Historical Biases"

Tim Schneider on the "growing trend" of deaccessioning-to-diversify.

It's a good thing the works aren't held in the public trust or else this strategy couldn't work.