Contemporary visual arts have abandoned two classical standards that have hitherto originated and framed the relationship between art and law: while the identification of the right holder with the “artist” is challenged by the participation of the public in the process of creation, conceptual art has also dematerialized the object and favored a fading away of the “material” in art.

This “contemporary puzzlement” affects the identification of both the “owner/creator” and the artifact. The effect of this on both contract and property law is expanding, and the classical rules that have been used for centuries to govern transactions and deals no longer offer a predictable guide in case of litigation.