Renegades of Art & Law

artlawAs many of you know I teach law school and art school courses in art law and art & Law. I also give quite a few lectures and seminars on art & law. During my classes and talks, I often refer to the scholarly and artist work of some of my peers, and after these classes or talks I am always asked for their names or the names of other thinkers or writings in these fields.

I’ve finally gotten around to writing this brief blog post to make this information more public. But I also want to use this opportunity to pay homage to the creative individuals who are working in this great field of art & law to make it more complex and engaging. These artists and scholars are also producing material that is complicating our understanding of art, its history and its criticism, which is one aspect I frequently insist on when I teach and lecture: that we must allow ourselves to be influenced by those “outside” of our immediate circle and comfort zone. To quote architect Richard Rogers, “You have to absorb and analyze influences. That begins in my opinion by having other people around you, and not just architects. There are still architects who think that architecture is about architecture. There’s much more to architecture than architecture.”

With that in mind, when it comes to the practice of law as well as sharp insights on the hot debates concerning copyright, deaccessioning and authenticity, Donn Zaretsky is definitely at the top of this field. Not only does he represent major artists, he also co-teaches art law at NYU’s School of Law and pens his thoughts on his Art Law Blog as well other online and print venues.

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of discussing the legal doctrines of contracts and property vis-a-vis art with Joan Kee, art historian at the University of Michigan who holds degrees in law (Harvard) and art history (NYU). Joan also has some writings online and is currently finishing up a book on art and law from the 1970s to the 1980s. Can’t wait to read this book!

Dan Brooks is another great thinker and practitioner. Not only did Dan represent Patrick Cariou in the now infamous copyright and appropriation case of this century, Cariou v. Prince, he also contributes strong observations as to how courts have gone off the rails when it comes to statutory interpretation and its impact on artistic production. For a good example, take a look at his Rectifying Fair Use after Cariou v. Prince: Reviving the Forgotten Statutory Text and Requiring that Unauthorized Copying.

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