These general points are always worth bearing in mind before entering into any agreement with a commercial gallery.
- Do not enter into a binding agreement for global representation and sales. Very few galleries have much of a reach beyond their own country.
- Any agreement should be in writing. This is hard to come by in the art world but is becoming more prevalent and increasingly important when galleries can very easily go bankrupt. If you cannot get a contract or letter of agreement, have all agreements confirmed in emails and keep all of your emails; this paper trail will serve as your contract if need be.
- No first contract should be for longer than a year, although it can then be automatically rolling, renewable by both parties.
- Retail pricing of works must be done jointly and with mutual agreement by both gallery and artist together.
- The gallery should never take more than 50% of the actual retail price – i.e., whatever you want to get as income from your work, the gallery should never sell it for more than double this amount and keep half as their share.
- A notice period of 3 to 6 months must be in a contract to allow either party to withdraw.
- The gallery must agree with the artist about how the artist and his or her work is included in the gallery’s website.
© Medeia Cohan-Petrolino