The auction house Ritchies has announced that they will voluntarily pay the Artist’s Resale Right beginning with the inaugural Project Contemporalis auction this month. They are the first major auction house in Canada to do so.
“Auction houses have been profiting from the works of great Canadian artists without giving anything back for far too long,” said Gordon Gothreau, head of Ritchies contemporary art department. “Canada must do more to protect its artists — granting artists resale rights is the first step on a long road.”
Ritchies joins a growing number of art market professionals who are speaking out in favour of the Artist’s Resale Right. Cube Gallery in Ottawa has voluntarily paid the Artist’s Resale Right since they opened nine years ago.
CARFAC and RAAV are still hopeful that the government will bring the Artist’s Resale Right to Canada through legislation that would apply to all art market professionals. With more and more support building every day, this seems increasingly possible. The Artist’s Resale Right and the auction of a set of prints from Cape Dorset was the subject of Jian Ghomeshi’s opening monologue on CBC Radio’s culture program Q last week and a piece from the Economist has even endorsed the right.
“We are excited to see Ritchies leading by example,” said CARFAC President, Grant McConnell. “We hope to build this momentum into concrete change for visual artists.”
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