The contemporary artwork and restoration: legal highlights.
This article originates from a conceptual challenge and from a legal challenge. The conceptual challenge refers to how identifying the main characters’ role when dealing with contemporary artwork: on one hand, the artist who creates or modifies it; on the other hand, the artwork itself, in constant evolution, also after being created. Contemporary art, as a matter of fact, appears as a torsion of the usual categories: not only the classical, such as painting, sculpture, opera…; but innovative categories appear: sculpted pictures, painted sculptures, performances, fractals1, developing without a
The other challenge refers to the law and its relations with contemporary art, i.e. the capacity of the former to comprehend new forms of expressions, conceptual and abstract, providing protection and rights in order to protect the artistic world’s main characters, granting rules to administrate the relationships involved.
Restoration lies half way between the two challenges, by means of a specific person, the restorer, who plays a different role from that of the artist, and its creative activity, and from the purchaser of the artwork, and its contemplative (or speculative) action. This role is redefined, especially in its legal framework, when the target of such an activity is a contemporary artwork.
1. Introduction. – 2. Legal nature of restoration. – 3. Artist’s rights. – 4. Proprietor’s rights. – 5. The artwork evaluation. – 6. Art galleries relationships. – 7. Final considerations.
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