Saturday, October 1, 2016

Art Studio Assistant Claims She is a Co-Author

Artist Antonio de Felipe’s studio assistant, Rumiko Negishi, has filed a lawsuit against the artist. Negishi claims she painted 221 of his signed works from scratch, based on Felipe’s sketches. According to Artnet, Negishi worked in Felipe’s studio for ten years as a painter. The lawsuit insists Felipe “admits the truthful facts regarding the authorship of the paintings.” Negishi is demanding to be considered author or at least co-author of the works.

El Español has published a response from Felipe in which he states Negishi “has intervened in some areas of my paintings, but the intellectual authorship of the works is mine. Fumiko has not contributed anything to them,” De Felipe said. He added: she is merely “a studio assistant, like all artists have.” Should the lawsuit prevail, many artists with studio assistants will need to reconsider their procedures for maintaining sole authorship.



Are Art Foundations Loosening Reigns on their Copyrighted Works?

February marked what may be shift in the approach to copyright art foundations are taking. The Rauchenberg Foundation adopted a new policy allowing images of Rauchenberg works to be used, for non-commercial purposes, free of charge or license. Since doing so, the foundation has found a major increase in publicity, and reports the gain outweighs the lost licensing fees.

The Mike Kelley Foundation may be following their lead. The foundation’s president, John Welchman, supported The Rauchenberg Foundation’s policy change. Welchman is a professor, and with educational purposes in mind, plans to discuss easing copyright restrictions on Kelley works.



Art & Law Program Applications Now on Rolling Basis


The Art & Law Program is now accepting applications for its spring 2017 term on a Rolling Basis. The Rolling Admissions deadline is December 16, 2016.

Applicants who apply through Rolling Admissions can expect to receive a decision from the Program 1 to 2 weeks after their application is received. The Program’s admissions process is competitive—as each year they get many more applications than they have spaces for, so if you’d like to increase the likelihood of acceptance or need to know of an acceptance or rejection as soon as possible, obviously the sooner you apply the better it is for you. Non-US based applicants are strongly encouraged to apply sooner rather than later.

In more exciting news, the spring 2017 seminars will be held at the Cornell Art Architecture Planning headquarters at 26 Broadway in New York City.

Application info may be found here. For a list of seminar leaders, click here.


What Do Heavy Metal, Donuts and Texas Football Have in Common?

Image courtesy of Donut Taco Palace.

Image courtesy of Donut Taco Palace.

Hand gestures and trademark lawsuits.

As much as I love my Texas Longhorns, I have to admit this is bordering on the aggressive and ridiculous. Can’t we all just eat a taco followed by a donut?


Deja Vu? Museum Cancels Christoph Büchel Project

Düsseldorf’s K21, a contemporary art museum, cancelled Christoph Büchel’s exhibition, previously set to open September 9th. The museum decided the show, which would include an entire supermarket with beds for visitors to sleep over, was too complex. K21 explained the shut down was: “not because the artist planned a supermarket and sleeping quarters—the reason is that Büchel’s ideas became more and more complicated and complex. We subsequently stopped further plans for this project by mutual agreement with the artist.”
This is not the first time a museum has had trouble executing the Swiss artist’s elaborate exhibit plans. In 2007, we reported, MASS MoCA shut down one of Büchel’s ambitious exhibition projects, and displayed the remnants. The lack of agreement for how to terminate the project led to litigation, the infamous MASS MoCA v. Büchel.

The Visual Artists Rights Act and a Vandalized Work

Artist Tom Holmes, creator of the Arc of History at the U.S. Highway 550/160 intersection, hoped to restore his work after it was vandalized in summer 2015. Upon receiving $28,000 from the Public Arts Commission, Holmes had a majority of the funds to repair the work, however, the city had already decided on it’s removal.

The incident requires consideration of the Visual Artists Rights Act, allowing artists certain rights to protect their work from destruction. Would the city be in violation of this federal law should they bar the repairs?


Quotation in Art and Architecture


I’m very happy to announce that my most recent art & law essay, Primary Structure: Law, Power, Architecture, has been published in Perspecta: The Yale Architectural Journal. Among other subjects, the essay analyzes not only appropriation as we’ve come to know it, but also architectural-artistic projects that appropriate law as medium; some more successfully than others.

This issue of Perspecta—the oldest and most distinguished student-edited architectural journal in America—explores the uneasy lines between quotation, appropriation, and plagiarism, proposing a constructive reevaluation of contemporary means of architectural production and reproduction.

Grab the issue, Quote, while it lasts. I thank Russell LeStourgeon, Violette Paquerette, and AJ Artemel for their patience with me and for doing such a wonderful job as editors.


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