Joan Kee is the rare combination of art historian and lawyer, and she’s shared her skills in her new book, Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post-Sixties America, which examines the legal issues major contemporary artists (from Tehching Hsieh to Felix Gonzales-Torres) have confronted in the past 60 years.
Kee’s research shows that since the 1960s, as artist projects have become more expansive and expensive, the world of lawyers and laws is becoming a bigger part of the equation. From discussions of Christo and Jeanne-Claude‘s “Running Fence” land art project (they actually had offers to place the project elsewhere, which would’ve been a lot easier) to Gordon Matta-Clark’s Fake Estates micro-real estate project (there is no evidence the artist wanted to present this as an artwork), Kee’s research demonstrates that the history of art has increasingly been intertwined with its legal realities.
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