Commissioning Contemporary Art A Handbook for Curators, Collectors and Artists

Louisa Buck, Daniel McClean


In an age of blockbuster exhibitions and public art projects, the most exciting artworks are often those that have been specially commissioned for a specific site or event. This invaluable guide reveals and demystifies every stage of the commissioning process—from the initial invitation to an artist and the financing of a project to the final installation of works. Combining theoretical and conceptual considerations with practical ones, the text is supplemented with copious quotations and insights from some of the best-known artists, curators, commissioners, and museum directors of today. It is an essential guide for anyone involved in the process of commissioning new art—private collectors, foundations, public bodies, museums, galleries, and artists themselves—as well as those fascinated by the inner workings of the contemporary art world.


Commissioning work can be a tricky, fickle business…Lays bare the dos and don'ts of the process.

— Surface


Louisa Buck


Louisa Buck is a regular reviewer on BBC radio and television and has written for publications including Artforum. She lives in England.

Daniel McClean


Daniel McClean is a specialist in art and cultural property law. He lives in England.