Monday, May 29, 2023

What authority does an artist have over her artwork after it leaves the studio?

Last February, Marc Jancou, who had consigned a Cady Noland artwork to Sotheby’s for auction, sued both Noland and Sotheby’s for $26 million in damages. Now, Jancou’s suing Sotheby’s for another $20 million on a new claim, breach of fiduciary duty, bringing the total suit to $46 million.

What’s interesting about this case is that Noland’s claim hinges on a rare but sexy legal doctrine that prevents use of the artist’s name on any art work that has been distorted, mutilated, or modified in a way that would be prejudicial to the author’s honor or reputation. This, of course, is VARA, or the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (remember Christoph Büchel?). Noland also makes a claim under New York’s Artists’ Authorship Rights Act (AARA)

Via Artinfo. Background and complaint here.


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