Artist and art gallery operate under a cloack of secrecy in a world demanding ever greater transparancy. Until recently, this led to cowboy practices where artists come of the worst. It about time to set out the guidelines within which artists and art galleries are allowed to act. We list hereunder the possibilities for artist and galleries to terminate their relationship.
The legal relationship between the artist and the art gallery is an agence. In the art world, it is perfectly possible that eihter artist and art gallery wish to terminate their relationship. Often, their relationship will not be documented as a result of which the mutual rights and obligations are governed by general contract law:
- The agent (art gallery)has the right to terminate its relationship with the artist without notice and motif. In case the termination is in the detriment of the artist, he is entitled to claim damages unless the agent himself is faced with the impossiblity to execute its contractual oblgations.
- The principal (artist) can, as a rule, terminate the relationship with the art gallery without notice and motif unless factual elements corroborate the argument that the relationship was in fact irrevocable. Irrevocability must, as a rule, be agreed upon in writing. However, it is generally accepted that irrevocability can also be evidenced by factual elements. By way of exemple, the argument that the artist cannot terminate the agreement unless the agent committed a contractual breach of dut, has certainly some merit in case artist and art gallery entered into an exclusive arrangement. As an artist, it is often important to agree upon certain elements in an agreement. Your interest may now coincide but that may be different in the future. An agreement between an artist and a dealer contains normally clauses with regard to the nature of the relationship (excluisve or not), payment and duration and termination modalities.
Photo, Courtesy the Artist,