Wednesday, October 16, 2019

On Harald Szeemann, grandfather of art curators

The 1972 Documenta, “When Attitudes Become Form” … proposed a more pervasive, even numinous conception of art that has endured ever since. It insisted that “art” is a whole bundle of activities, stretching past autonomous images and objects, that encompasses being an artist, speaking like an artist, and acting like an artist within a specific setting. It proposed that texts, recordings, and other forms of documentation were integral components of artistic creation, and that the eyes were insufficient to perceive a work of art in its totality. And it positioned the curator as an active agent in artistic creation, perhaps even an author or an Über-artist.

More here.


“In the process, they offered some ways in which an artist could reserve their rights and rebel against major museums.”

These days, artists demanding the removal of their works from exhibitions is a common tool in the arsenal of political protest. In the cases of both the Aichi Triennale and the Whitney Biennial , artists called for their works to be pulled amid protests over what was happening at those institutions. But in 1969, this was something novel.

Good article in Artnet news on the artist Takis’s entrance into MoMA in 1969 and removal of his own sculpture as an act of protest. The beginning of “artists’ rights” movement?


The Art & Law Program Announces Fall 2019 Fellows

The Art & Law Program is happy to announce the Fall 2019 Art & Law Fellows. Once again, our decision-making was extremely difficult given our applicant pool. The incoming group includes a broad and diverse range of artistic, intellectual and professional interests, and we very much look forward to working with them.

In the fall 2019, the Program will examine artists’ legacies and artists’ estates through the lens of tangible and intangible property, contracts, moral rights, freedom of expression, and corporations. This will allow the fellows an opportunity to examine how sectors of the art industry— such as academia, the gallery system, for-profit and non-profit institutions, auction houses, curatorial practices, and law—impact the practices, definitions and controversies of contemporary art. This is an updated list of the 2019 Fellows.

The Fall 2019 Fellows are:

Juliana Biondo
Carlos Jiménez Cahua
Ivana Dizdar
Claudia Fernandez
Mira Friedlaender
Kearra Amaya Gopee
Danny Greenberg
Shervone Neckles
Cassie Packard
Chris Rawson
Armando Rosales Rivero
Susan Rosenberg
Elizabeth Smolarz
Aden Solway

You may view the Fall 2019 Fellow bios here or at


George Washington High School Alumni Sue to Keep Mural on View

An alumni association filed a lawsuit on Friday challenging the San Francisco Unified School District’s Board of Education over the board’s decision to cover up a 1936 mural by Victor Arnautoff, titled “Life of Washington.”

Readers following this story may remember that back in August the board voted 4-3 for the resolution to cover the decades-old mural inside George Washington High School with panels, in hopes of keeping innocent young ones from the ugliness of life.

More here.


Harlem community voices opposition to public artwork

Today, the city announced that it is bowing to pressure from the East Harlem community: [Simone] Leigh has withdrawn her proposal following the backlash, and [Vinnie] Bagwell will design the new monument.

More here.


Che Guevara photog heirs send take down

The heirs of the deceased photographer Alberto Korda, best known for the iconic photograph of Che Guevara that has adorned Tshirts and college dorm posters for fifty years, have issued a takedown demand to Liberty Maniacs over its sales of parody items that display the photo’s cap and hair but replace Guevara’s visage with, alternately, Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Liberty Maniacs is not giving up its fair use freedoms without a fight, arguing in their response to the demand letter “that moral rights are not enforceable in the United States, that the First Amendment protects the right of parody, and that any copyright claims would be defeated by fair use.”

More here.


Mercedes-Benz USA sues “shakedown” spray painter

Mercedes-Benz USA is asking a judge to protect it from legal action, or what Mercedes-Benz calls a “shakedown,” over its use of images of Detroit outdoor murals in social media posts.


Clancco, Clancco: The Source for Art & Law,, and Art & Law are trademarks owned by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento. The views expressed on this site are those of Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento and of the artists and writers who submit to They are not the views of any other organization, legal or otherwise. All content contained on or made available through is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed, nor is anything submitted to treated as confidential.

Website Terms of Use, Privacy, and Applicable Law.

Switch to our mobile site