Artists should use written contracts as often as needed, whether it is for the sale or commissioning of their work, or for the exchange of skills and services.

The articles in this section focus on the relationship between galleries and agents, and artists.

Doing a Deal: Part 1

Selling work is the primary source of income for most commercially successful artists, and is the strongest aspiration of most of those for whom a market place is not established. It is no surprise th …

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Ballad of a Widening Wedge

Just because an agreement is in writing, freely signed by the parties, does not necessarily mean its words alone will bind them at law, in whole, in part, or at all. THE FIRST CASE Conservation Manage …

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Consignment: Trust

The term commonly used to describe the contractual relationship between artists supplying their works to galleries for exhibition and possible sale is ‘consignment’. In business and legal terms, consi …

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Tracing Work

Listen to me baby Wherever you may be I’m beggin’ over the radio Please come back to me – I’ve got a mind To move on down the line. * Many artists and galleries find great difficulty in tracing work w …

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Gallery Agreements

Artists – grateful for the offer of a ‘gallery deal’ – are understandably reluctant to request the use of a written agreement during negotiations, since this might jeopardise their chances. In this co …

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Contracts with Galleries

Artists leave works with galleries under the most flimsy and informal arrangements. Rarely are written agreements used to tell both sides where they stand, and as a result serious problems can and do …

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Doing a Deal: Part 2

Last month’s column explored the basics of UK contract law and good practices for artists and galleries conducting negotiations with a view to arriving at a gallery deal. This month we look in more de …

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Doing a Deal: Part 3

For reasons stated in Part Two (AM214), gallery-less dealers are not a generally recommended agent for promotion and sales. However, there are those few who have succeeded in establishing respectable …

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Exhibition Agreements

Most public galleries and many private ones put on exhibitions solely for the purpose of making the work of an artist or group of artists available for public view – selling is only incidental; these …

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Agency Deals

The lack of gallery premises or adequate showing space has not prevented many actual or would-be dealers approaching artists offering agency deals, with a view to promoting and selling the artists …

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