Barcelona, Spain

Art and the Law: How Aesthetic Concepts Shape Legal Disputes about Arts

when 15 July 2024 - 26 July 2024
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 4 EC
fee EUR 150

Sometimes social, political and legal disputes require answers to questions such as “What is art?”, “How should it be interpreted?”, “What is artistic freedom?”, “Who is an author?”, “What is misappropriation?”, or “Is a particular work of art authentic?”. When authorities are involved in such disputes, answering such inquiries involve not only legal or public policy decisions, but also artistic judgments which are influenced by aesthetic theories. Besides, law and power may also influence artistic practices and the content of art works. Regulations on censorship, contract law, city planning and plagiarism, among others, and their enforcements by public authorities can impact the artists’ creative choices.

The course aims to provide an in-depth discussion of the interactions between aesthetics, art theory and art law. The legal notions of, among others, originality, authorship, plagiarism, copying, and transformation will be examined and confronted with these same concepts from the standpoints of aesthetics and art theory. In exploring these issues, specific contemporary art controversies that involve artists, such as Marina Abramović, Robert Mapplethorpe, Richard Prince or Joseph Beuys will be analyzed. Course participants are expected to write a final essay on a case study of their choice about the relation between the law (or society and politics) and a particular artist or a work of art.

Course leader

Antoni Rubí Puig

Target group

2nd, 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students

Course aim


Fee info

EUR 150: Registration Fee (non refundable)
EUR 750: Tuition Fee (non refundable)


Non UPF students from universities with an international exchange partnership with UPF will be exempt of paying the 150€ non refundable registration fee.