Using written contracts

In our everyday lives we enter into numerous contracts without even noticing, as the majority of these are oral contracts.  It would certainly be very cumbersome if these all had to be recorded as written contracts.

However, there are instances where the more significant the transaction, the more desirable it is to record the precise terms in a written agreement, and this is certainly the case for any artist proposing to create or sell his or her work, work with a gallery, have an exhibition or collaborate with another artist or organisation.

Artists should enter into contracts as often as appropriate, whether it is for the sale or commissioning of their work, or for the exchange of skills and services (i.e. teaching, public art commissions, gallery education etc).

The articles in this section focus on:

  • Working with dealers and galleries
  • Attribution and authentication of artworks
  • Selling work in editions
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Commissions
  • Payment agreements
  • Artists’ gifts
  • Entering competitions
  • Working with architects
  • Agency
  • Recovering work from bankrupt galleries
This article is from the Artlaw Archive of Henry Lydiate's columns published in Art Monthly since 1976, and may contain out of date material.
The article is for information only, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.
Readers should consult a solicitor for legal advice on specific matters. Artists can get free online legal information from Artquest.