As a matter of fact the dpkg / mint-artwork-common problem has not been caused by any programme bug in Mint 17.x.
As this thread suggests there are exactly 2 reasons, why users stumbled across this problem:
- Some people used repository mirror servers, which were simply not up-to-date and which therefore did not offer the needed most recent dpkg version to their users over a long period of time.
- Some people only accept software updates, which are categorized as levels 1 or 2, but not as level 3, in their Mint Update Manager. dpkg, however, is categorized as a level 3 update. As a consequence, these people prevented themselves from getting the needed most recent dpkg version themselves.