Enforcing Resale Clauses in Contemporary Art

November 19 2020

Image of Enforcing Resale Clauses in Contemporary Art

Picture: artnet

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Artnet.com have published an article regarding attempts by some dealers in the contemporary art world to legally enforce reselling restrictions on artists they represent.

The enforcement of 'non-resale' and 'first-right-of-refusal' clauses have been justified as "a wish to maintain control over the market in the artist’s work, and the desire to ensure that the artworks are sold to buyers who appreciate rather than speculate." Some legal opinions have called these attempts and covenants "unenforceable."

As AHN has pointed out before, it is a curious feature of the contemporary art world that some dealers bid-up artists they represent in order to keep up bubbles from bursting. This question is unlikely to go-away anytime soon, but is an interesting debate to follow.

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