Launch of The Trials of Art

Christina Michalos contributes to new work

Last night Withers LLP hosted a launch party for a new work – The Trials of Art – edited by Daniel McClean of Withers LLP with a foreword by Lord Hoffmann. The book is published by Ridinghouse with financial support from the Arts Council in London.


The Trials of Art is a new collection of essays focussing on leading trials in which artists have appeared as claimants asserting their rights or as defendants who have violated the law.  The book charts the various influences of the law upon the development of art.  Authors include leading art historians and cultural theorists as well as lawyers.


Christina Michalos of 5RB was invited to contribute a chapter to this newly commissioned work. Her essay Murdering Art: Destruction of Art Works and Artists’ Moral Rights  looks at the rights of artists to prevent destruction of their art work – particularly site specific artwork such as murals and art installations. With discussion of Graham Sutherland’s portrait of Winston Churchill (destroyed by Clementine Churchill) and Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc, the artist’s conflict with the rights of real property owners is also considered.


Essays in the collection include Piss Christ on Trial: Disgust, Obscenity and Transgression  by Alison Young (Professor of Criminology, University of Melbourne) -about Andres Serrano’s work featuring an image of Christ immersed in urine –  and A Transgressive Work and Its Defences by Anthony Julius. Other chapters look at Rogers v Koons; Whistler v Ruskin; the trials of Brancusi and Veronese; and the work of Robert Mapplethorpe.


The book is on sale now priced £25. Click here for further details.