Visual Art Law by Henry Lydiate

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Henry Lydiate in his presentation for Visual Artists & The Law discusses how his art law practice developed and the key legal issues that confront contemporary visual artists in their working life.

Copyright Henry Lydiate. Images copyright the artists concerned.

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Visual Art Law by Henry Lydiate

  1. Visual Artists and the LawDublin 17 May 2012Henry LydiateThe Henry Lydiate Partnership LLPOrleston House London N7 8LLT+44(0)20 7607 9373 M+44(0) 7976 942 038henry@thehenrylydiatepartnership.comwww.thehenrylydiatepartnership.comLimited Liability Partnership registered in England Wales OC319735
  2. Artlaw Research Project: 1976/7 commissioned by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (CGF) and Arts Council Great Britain (ACGB) “ To investigate the provision of legal services to visual artists in England and Wales; to measure the extent of any unmet need; to put forward a written report on the situation, and proposals for the use and development of existing services and the establishment of provision for any unmet need.”
  3. Artlaw Research Project Report The Visual Artist and the Law December 1977Four key findings:1. Artists and art administrators in England and Wales urgently required access to information, advice and assistance to deal with legal problems in relation to their work2. Such legal services were required from lawyers with knowledge and experience of the visual art world, who had specialised in dealing with such problems3. Such legal services were required to be available to all artists and art administrators for fees they could afford4. Five unmet needs
  4. Unmet Need #1 : Informationno publications were available thatadequately dealt with the law relating to thevisual arts, for the use of artists, artadministrators, or lawyers
  5. Unmet Need #2 : Education no art or law schools offered students courses that dealt with the law relating to the visual arts no arts administration course offered students adequate materials on the subject no individuals or organisations provided such education
  6. Unmet Need #3 : Training no professional training courses for artists dealing with the law relating to the visual arts only two arts administration courses dealt with the general law relating to all the arts no individual or other organisation provided such training
  7. Unmet Need #4 : Advice few lawyers with knowledge or experience of the visual arts specialised in dealing with the legal problems of visual artists the majority of artists required, but could not afford, such services general legal practitioners were unable to provide such services for economic reasons or because of lack of interest in the subject artists were unable to pay for, or to persuade lawyers to develop, such an interest Law Centres and Legal Advice Centres specialised only in welfare law problems no other individual or organisation provided such advice
  8. Unmet Need #5: Assistance few lawyers specialised in the law related to the visual arts few were willing to develop a special interest in the field no organisation existed that referred artists to such lawyers for legal assistance with such problems
  9. Artlaw Research Project Report: Key Recommendations establishment of a national artlaw service an independent charitable body governed by a board comprising professional visual artists, art administrators, and lawyers specialising in artlaw public conference at Chelsea School of Art, January 1978 attended by artists, commercial and public art administrators, and interested lawyers unanimous endorsement
  10. Artlaw Services: 1978/83 Board Members included - artists Richard Wentworth and Elton Bash - administrators Nicholas Serota & David Panton - art lawyers Richard Swan and Henry Lydiate Patrons included - artists Joseph Beuys, Mark Boyle & Joan Hills, Richard Hamilton, Paul Neagu, Eduardo Paolozzi, and Tom Phillips - arts lawyers Laurence Harbottle, Jeremy Hutchinson QC, Geoffrey Robertson, and Michael Rubinstein
  11. Four artlaw services were provided specialist legal information, advice and help from two full- time in-house art lawyers and around 50 unpaid volunteer art lawyers, free at the point of delivery publications, including contents of art business contracts, and guides on copyright, income tax, and finding and maintaining a studio education programme, developing and delivering professional practice courses and sessions at most art schools in the UK research into artlaw matters and the provision and development of specialist legal and business services to the visual art community
  12. Annual Revenue Funding 1978/83 Arts Council Great Britain Welsh Arts Council Crafts Council 1981 ACGB cuts & CGF ends subscription income expenditure cuts dissolution
  13. Artists Legal & Business Challenges Today artists in particular (and art market professionals) need access to specialist legal advice and help, and at a price they can afford artists have become increasingly self-reliant: through & post 70s 80s & 90s recessions, and have increasingly addressed the ‘commercial dimension’ of creative practice artists have embraced digital technology, and developed new forms of expression and ways of working artists have developed new (and continue to have traditional) legal & business challenges examples:
  14.  Banksy South Bank 2, London
  15.  Banksy Wall and Peace, 2005
  16. Banksy no gallery for many years no objects for sale environment as gallery skilfully avoids legal challenges urban guerrilla to mainstream business practice now commissioned now selling objects retains total anonymity Banksy NYC market value
  17. Alison Jackson uses conventional mainstream broadcast media and publishing as both her art form and dissemination medium as an artist, not as television producer aims and objectives determined by artistic parameters uses media to subvert and question notions of celebrity; and toys with ‘it’s on television/in print, so it must be true’ response skilfully uses laws: “ My aim is to explore the blurred boundaries between reality and the imaginary – the gap and confusion between the two. I recreate scenes of our greatest fears which we think are documentary but are fiction.”
  18.  Christo & Jeanne-Claude Wrapped Reichstag Berlin 1971-1995
  19. Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Running Fence, 1972-6 when Christo set out to erect a fabric fence across 24 miles of California ranch land, he encountered massive resistance from landowners and bureaucrats alike, in addition to conservationists who thought he would harm the landscape the fence extended across the rolling hills of northern California to the Pacific Ocean, and provided what Christo referred to as ‘an obstructive membrane’ that he hoped would change public perception of the land permission was eventually obtained from county, state, and federal agencies, plus scores of private land owners fined $60,000 for not obtaining permission from the California Coastal Commission
  20. Christo & Jeanne-Claude use environment as gallery intervene in it and change it work goes to spectator’s environment, rather than spectator to gallery huge challenges posing technical, legal & procedural issues each work is a business project – have been described as art works using the law as a medium £$ for which raised by selling IPR in advance also sell related drawings, collages, works on paper cf. merchandising a rock band on tour
  21.  Damien Hirst Hymn, 1996
  22. Damien Hirst has successfully re-worked the Italian Renaissance atelier model (via Warhol) huge demand production line of employees numerous editions of iconic works: spots, spins, butterflies DH: R&D plus controversial & experimental work stimulating more demand acutely aware of own public image and behaviour and its relationship to brand extensions: Quo Vadis; The Pharmacy; For the Love of God; Beautiful Inside My Head Forever “art business” and “business art” : Warhol “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”: Warhol
  23. New Ways of Working - New Challenges artists increasingly working collaboratively, with each other, with others and in new/different contexts new/different objectives and creative paradigms recent trends: - mixed media works - appropriation of material - open source and content material - www usage - collaborating with curators/spaces - installations and performative works - sound art; sci-art; book art; appropriation art - land art; public art requires new skills, new knowledge, different approach
  24. Key Challenges artists are increasingly using: business skills entrepreneurial skills advanced project management business support mechanisms knowledge transfer requires new/extended skill set from artists requires holistic approach to professional practice in the creative curriculum for studio-based art students requires continuing professional development for artists requires special kinds of collaborative support and help in some ways a return to the Renaissance model

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