The Art Newspaper has reported that the British artist Sarah-Jane Szikora is being sued by her former art gallery, Halcyon. The Halcyon gallery was taking up to 75% of the sale price of works sold by the artist, which makes me think that the artist might be able to afford legal fees now that she should be putting 25% more of each sale in her own bank account. I know that art galleries have a lot of operating and marketing costs, but isn’t 75% of each sale a bit greedy?
Rather than repeating the story, here’s what’s happening in summary from the Art Newspaper..
“Ms Szikora was represented by Halcyon Gallery for 11 years until her contract expired on 1 January this year. Ms Szikora then arranged to mount a self-funded, solo exhibition in the Arndean Gallery in Cork Street which was scheduled to open to the public on 29 January.
On 28 January, Halcyon succeeded in securing an injunction from a High Court judge preventing the artist from opening the exhibition to the public or selling works from it, and is now suing Ms Szikora for breach of contract.
Halcyon Gallery says that under the terms of her agreement, she was obliged to offer all works made before 1 January to Halcyon on a first-refusal basis, which she failed to do.”
Update: I was just reading the news section on the artist’s website and thought I would include this from it..
“I remain the subject of legal action by Washington Green and Halcyon Gallery. Sadly, after years of loyal service to the Halcyon group, there is a claim by them that I have breached my contracts. They successfully brought me to court and prevented me from selling any art work at my recent ‘sugarlumps’ exhibition. It seems to be their intention to aquire this whole collection of very personal paintings via the courts, but they are now also seeking damages. I have no means to take on such a wealthy company and If they are successful in their claim, It is possible I will be bankrupt.
Blimey…I only want to paint and to pay my bills! how did this happen??
Artists out there, please….DO NOT sign contracts without legal advice!!!”
Find out more on the Sarah Jane Szikora website here.