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Death sentence overturned for Ashraf Fayadh

TEFAF Maastricht Expands to New York | Rothko’s Son Insists he Never Authenticated Work Sold by Knoedler | Bouvier: What Really Happened? | Philippe Parreno Commissioned for Tate Modern Turbine Hall

3 February 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Court Overturns Death Sentence for Ashraf Fayadh | A Saudi court has overturned the death sentence handed to Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh in November. However, though it has spared him from execution, the court maintains that Fayadh is guilty of ‘apostasy’ – and still faces a penalty of 800 lashes and eight years in prison. He will also be forced to renounce his poetry on Saudi state media. The sentencing last year provoked an international outcry, which looks set to continue until Fayadh is absolved of his supposed ‘crimes’. Fayadh has now been languishing in jail for nearly two years, and in the eyes of many observers, is yet to be granted a fair trial.

TEFAF Maastricht Expands to New York | Leading European art fair TEFAF Maastricht has announced that it will mount two new annual art fairs at New York’s Park Avenue Armory. This is a collaboration with New York-based company Artvest, headed by Jeff Rabin and Michael Plummer, who launched Spring Masters New York in 2014. The first fair, TEFAF|New York|Fall, opens in October and showcases art from antiquity to the 20th century; the second, TEFAF|New York|Spring, is scheduled for May 2017 and will focus on modern art and design.

Rothko’s Son Insists he Never Authenticated Work Sold by Knoedler | The Knoedler trial rumbles on, and every day brings with it new questions. Yesterday Christopher Rothko and art historian David Anfam refuted the gallery’s claims that they had viewed and ‘authenticated’ a Mark Rothko work since identified as a fake. If you haven’t been keeping track of the trial so far, the New York Times coverage is well worth revisiting. For comment on yesterday’s developments, see Jonathan Jones in today’s Guardian.

Bouvier: What Really Happened? | In the New Yorker, Sam Knight has written a long profile of Yves Bouvier, the controversial Swiss businessman, art shipper and freeport kingpin. The story of Bouvier’s long business relationship with Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, which has since descended into acrimony, makes for fascinating reading. Perhaps most interestingly, the piece sheds insight into the complex world of art shipping and the codes that govern it. Some people allege Bouvier violated these, while the magnate himself insists that he was simply using his initiative.

Philippe Parreno Commissioned for Tate Modern Turbine Hall | Philippe Parreno has been selected for the daunting task of filling Tate Modern’s enormous Turbine Hall space. UK readers may remember Parreno for his Duchamp homage The Bride and The Bachelors at London’s Barbican Centre in 2013. On the strength of that work alone, it’s fair to say that expectations for his Turbine Hall project are high.

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