Page 23 - Studio International - April 1971
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and 'purchase' only for the sake of simplicity   form from his original (without the words   their Agreement, NOT the actual amount of
           (likewise, we use the term 'Collector' just   `SPECIMEN'). He then fills them out, entering   money the dealer is paying the artist, which
           because it is the most all-inclusive word for this   the value or price that he and the next owner   would be less.
           purpose). Strictly speaking, even if you are   have agreed upon. Both the old and new owners   Getting the contract signed is mostly a state
           giving or trading your work you are 'selling' it for   sign all three copies of the dated TRANSFER   of mind. If your dealer does not think the
           the promises in the Agreement and whatever   AGREEMENT AND RECORD, each keeps        benefits of the Agreement are important for
           else you get.                             one copy and the third is sent with the 15 per cent   you, he will have dozens of reasons why he can't
              This Agreement form is not a bill of sale or   payment (if any is required) to the artist or   get those few reluctant buyers to sign it; on the
           an invoice, nor is it a substitute. If the work is   his/her agent. The old owner gives the new   other hand, if he seriously wants you to have
           sold for money, prepare a separate bill of sale   owner a copy of the original Agreement, so he   these benefits he will be able to overcome all
           for your financial records.               will know his responsibilities to the artist and   those obstacles without losing a single sale.
             In Article 1, you enter the price or value of   have the TRANSFER AGREEMENT AND
           the work; you, the artist, can put any value that   RECORD form if he transfers the work.   THE FACTS OF LIFE: YOU, THE ART WORLD AND
           you and the new owner agree upon. If the work                                       THE AGREEMENT
           is resold for a figure higher than the one you   THE DEALER                         The general response to the preliminary draft
           have entered as 'value', the owner will have to   If you want to use the Agreement, and you have   of this Agreement form has been extremely
           pay you 15 per cent of the difference over that   a dealer, he is going to be very important in   favourable; the vast majority of people in the
           figure; obviously the higher the figure you put   getting people to sign the contract when he sells   art world feel it is fair, reasonable and practical.
           in, the better the break the new owner is getting.   your work.                     A few have expressed certain reservations about
           If you are giving a friend a work or exchanging   The dealer should make the use of the   whether or not people will actually use it. These
           with another artist (you need two separate   Agreement a policy of the gallery, thereby   reservations can be summed up in two basic
           Agreements for the latter situation) you might   giving the artists in the gallery collective   statements :
           want to enter a nominal value so that you would   strength against those few collectors and   `... the economics of buying and selling art is so
           get some money, even if he/she later sells it for   institutions who do not really have the artist's   fragile that if you place one more burden on the
           less than what your dealer would sell it for.   interests at heart.                 collectors of art, they will simply stop buying
             Be sure, if there are rights given the artist   Remember, your dealer knows all the ins and   art...', and
           under the Agreement form that you as the   outs that go down in the business of the art   `... I will certainly use the Agreement—if
           artist do not want, that you strike them out.   world. He knows the ways to get the few   everyone else uses it...'
                                                     reluctant art buyers to sign the Agreement—the   The first statement is nonsense; clearly the
           1MPORTANT: be sure to examine ARTICLE     better the dealer the more ways and the more   art will be just as desirable with as without the
           7(b); if you don't feel you must have a veto   buyers he/she knows and the easier it will be.   Agreement and there is no reason why the value
           over all details of the future exhibition of the   He can do what he/she does now when he wants   of any art should be affected at all, especially if
           work, be sure you strike (b) out of ARTICLE 7.   things for his artists—give the buyer favours,   this contract is standard practice in the art
           Few collectors will want to buy a work if their   exchange privileges, preferential treatment,   world—which brings us to the second statement.
           right to lend it for exhibition is so restricted by   discounts, hot tips, time, advice and all the   If there is a problem here, this statement reflects
           someone else. If you give a work away you can   other things that collectors expect and   it: it is the concern of the individual artist or
           leave (b) in, but that will make it very difficult for   appreciate.                dealer that the insistence on the use of the
           your friend to sell it. We have put (b) in because   The Agreement only formalizes what dealers   contract will jeopardize the sale of their work in
           (a) is the least an artist should accept and (b) is   do now anyway; dealers try to keep track of the   a competitive market.
           the most he/she can ask for. If (a) is not enough   work they have sold, but now they can only   If we examine this notion carefully, we see it
           for you but you don't need (b), have an attorney   rely on exhibition lists, catalogues, hit-or miss   doesn't hold up.
           draft a short rider to the Agreement setting forth   intelligence and publicity to keep them up-to-  ALL artists sell, trade and give their work
           those specific controls over exhibition that you   date. The Agreement creates a very simple   only to two kinds of people:
           feel you must have.                       system, which will automatically maintain a   those who are their friends;
           4. You and the Collector should each sign both   biography of each work and a chronological   those who are not their friends.
           copies, yours and his, so they will both be legal   record of ownership. It is private, uncluttered   Obviously, your friends will not give you a
           originals.                                and no dealer should ever have to hire another   hard time; they will sign the Agreement with
           5.  Before the work is delivered, be sure that a   secretary to administer it; if each work   you. The only trouble will come when you are
           copy of the NOTICE is affixed to the work.   engenders a dozen pieces of paper over the   selling to someone who is not a friend. Since
           DO NOT cut it out of one of the originals. Put   entire life of the Agreement, it will be a lot. The   surely 75 per cent of all art that is sold is bought
           it on a stretcher bar or under a sculpture base   requirement of giving a provenance to the   by people who are friends of the artist or dealer
           or wherever else it will be aesthetically   current owner is no more than what goes on   —friends who dine together, see each other
           invisible yet easily findable. It should get a coat   today, but under this system it will be accurate   socially, drink together, weekend together, etc. —
           of clear polyurethane—or something like it—to   and effortless.                     whatever resistancemay appear will come only
           protect it. It won't hurt to put several copies of   A dealer shouldn't be expected to do this for   in respect to some portion of the 25 per cent of
           the notice on a large work.               nothing; it seems reasonable to compensate the   your work that is being sold to strangers. Of
             If your work simply has no place on it for the   dealer with some part of the 15 per cent he/she   these people, most will wish to be on good terms
           NOTICE or your signature—in which case you   is collecting for the artist, perhaps one-third of   with you and will be happy to enter into the
           should always use an ancillary document which   it.                                 Agreement with you. This leaves perhaps 5 per
           describes the work and which bears your     When, as is often the case, an artist moves   cent of your sales which will encounter serious
           signature and which must always be transferred   from one dealer to a more prestigious one, the   resistance over the contract. Even this real
           as a (legal) part of the work—glue the NOTICE   first dealer might continue to collect whatever   resistance should decrease toward zero as the
           on the document.                          payments are occasioned by the resale of the   contract comes into widespread use.
                                                     earlier work.                                In a manner of speaking, this Agreement will
           PROCEDURE FOR FUTURE TRANSFERS. For future   When a dealer buys work directly from the   help you discover who your friends are.
           transfers, the owner makes three copies of the   artist (for resale or otherwise), they should   If a collector wants to buy but doesn't want
           TRANSFER AGREEMENT AND RECORD             write the intended retail value of the work in    to sign the Agreement, you should tell him that
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