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Art Outlook: 9 October

9 October 2014

Art is much older than we thought

New research suggests that the oldest markings in Indonesia’s Sulawesi caves date back 39,900 years – making them even older than those in France’s Cave of Pont-d’Arc. But the fact that human settlers were making paintings in both Asia and Europe so early on suggests that art has more ancient origins still, perhaps in Africa before the first migrations.

Buying in bulk: the Metropolitan Museum prevents dispersal of St Louis Society’s ancient Egyptian collection

The Metropolitan Museum has stepped in to buy a collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts from the St Louis Society. The group would most likely have been broken up if it had made it to auction as planned earlier this month.

New details emerge in the Knoedler art fraud case

A ‘document dump’ of files relating to two of the Knoedler lawsuits has revealed a host of statements and allegations previously kept under wraps. The Art Newspaper sums up some of the key ones.

Art, racism, and censorship

Artists frequently use pastiche and provocation to draw attention to social prejudices. But at what point does an artwork cross the line and actually reinforce damaging and dangerous views? And how can the art world respond to offensive art without resorting to censorship? Laura C. Mallonee highlights a series of recent controversies surrounding art and racism for Hyperallergic.

How many Rembrandts?

The world has gained 70 Rembrandts this month, according to Ernst van de Wetering’s recently-published final volume of the Rembrandt Research Project. The Wall Street Journal reports on his reattributions.

Churchill’s paintings on offer

When Winston Churchill’s youngest and last surviving child, Lady Mary Soames, died in May, 38 of his paintings were offered to the nation by her family. More will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s this December, along with a host of other items from Lady Soames’ personal collection.

The jury’s out on Tracey Emin’s latest London show

Jonathan Jones calls Tracey Emin’s latest show at White Cube Bermondsey ‘a masterclass in how to use traditional artistic skills’. Alastair Sooke thinks it ‘lapses into vague meandering and wishy-washiness.’ Whatever you think of the exhibition, she clearly hasn’t lost her touch for stirring up opinion.

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