Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post-Sixties America

Joan Kee (Author)

Product Details

University of California Press
Publish Date
March 05, 2019
7.2 X 0.8 X 10.3 inches | 2.0 pounds

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About the Author

Joan Kee is Associate Professor in the History of Art at the University of Michigan. Formerly a lawyer in Hong Kong and New York, she is the author of numerous articles on contemporary art and law as well as a widely reviewed book, Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method.


"...adds a novel perspective on art law, highlighting how both law and art can serve as sources of creative thinking. Illustrations and scholarship form an integral part of the book, and constitute an unconventional and much needed artistic take on the law [putting] six post-sixties artworks in their legal, historical, political, and artistic contexts."--Center for Art Law Blog
"[An] absorbing and rigorously researched new book. . . .Kee does more than provide a recent history of collisions between art and the law. She overlays developments in the two fields, and argues that each one can help us better understand the other. . . .Models of Integrity reads as a compelling call for artists, arts professionals, and viewers to work more ambitiously, and to think with more nuance." --Andrew Russeth, "ARTnews "
"Brushing with critical intersections of law and contemporary art, this book explores concepts of integrity as mediated and represented through artworks of the 1960s and onwards. Dancing fuidly between historical context, art theory, and legal theory, each piece of art is grounded in the legal developments of the time: questions of integrity for law and artists, the creation of artistic ownership rights, the constitutive power of property, and the emergence of art forms not yet recognised as art. Through art, Kee opens up vital spaces of legal discussion through depictions of (and participation in) authority, power, disobedience and other possibilities beyond compliance and consensus."--Journal for the Semiotics of Law

"...this wide-ranging volume offers insights into issues (of certification and distribution, for instance) that shaped Conceptual art."

"Joan Kee's book is a welcome primer on the myriad ways artists have engaged with the law over the past fifty years. What sets it apart from earlier literature is the intricacy with which Kee weaves together art and legal history as mutually informative, arguing that it is because artists are legal subjects within society at large that they have been able to so adroitly critique and illuminate law's logics. . .It also inspires us to pursue Kee's revelatory art-historical inquiry into how, when, and why legal conditions influence art."--The Burlington Magazine
"Meticulously researched and lucidly written, Models of Integrity demands that we take the law seriously as one of many structural factors that impact art in complex ways. Kee's interdisciplinary approach often yields a fresh perspective on her objects of study, assessing them through an underexplored lens and situating them firmly within an expanded social context. And while many people view the law as a dispassionate arbiter of clearly defined rules, Kee reminds us that ambiguity and inconsistency are deeply embedded in the American legal system. Although as a practical matter these uncertainties can chill what may in fact be perfectly legal creative acts, Models of Integrity provides an engaging account of a disparate group of artists who jumped wholeheartedly into the fray."--Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art
"The 'models of integrity' in Kee's fascinating account are articulated in the intersection of individual codes of conduct, art world conventions, and the range of activities that are both facilitated and enjoined by legal protocols. Taking full advantage of her double background, as a practising lawyer who subsequently turned her attention to art history, Kee examines many telling points of comparison between the two fields while also drawing on a wealth of archival research."--Art History