In contemporary art, some artists enter into working relationships with other
groups or institutions to create a final piece. For example, an artist may be invited by a
museum to take part in an exhibition, or an artist may work with a city council to create a
public artwork. However, these institutions/groups and the artist do not necessarily share
similar views on what form the final work should take. Because both the artist and the
institution/group possess authority over the project, the artist may encounter restrictions
imposed upon him or her.
How then does the artist overcome these obstacles in order to achieve his or her
goals? One possibility is for the artist to increase his or her creative authority over the
artwork. An investigation of the different working relationships of contemporary artists
such as Daniel Buren, Fred Wilson, Andrea Fraser, and Richard Serra indicates that the
most successful method to achieve greater creative authority is modeled by Wilson.
Wilson created a working relationship built on trust and thereby avoided potential
restrictions and instead achieved greater creative authority in producing his project with
the Maryland Historical Society.
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