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Exhibitors criticise management of Bahrain’s flagship art fair

Plus: Nan Goldin continues opioid protests | New York dealer finds ‘lost de Koonings’ in storage locker | and recommended reading

23 July 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Exhibitors criticise management of Bahrain’s art fair | The Art Bahrain Across Borders fair (formerly Art Bahrain) faces multiple accusations of failing to pay artists and dealers, according to a report in The Art Newspaper. The unpaid bills range from hundreds to thousands of pounds.The event is supported by the Bahraini royal family and the national economic development agency, and was designed to raise the country’s cultural profile, but its management by Art Select (a Bahraini art advisory company), has been the object of repeated criticism, notably in a 2015 open letter by a group of disappointed dealers.

Nan Goldin brings opioid protests to Harvard Art Museums | The artist Nan Goldin and her activist group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) have continued their series of protests against the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma, this time at the Harvard Art Museums, including the Arthur M. Sackler Museum. As in previous events, the collective marched through the atrium of the complex, chanting slogans and throwing pill-bottles. Goldin’s stated aim is to highlight the damaging effects of Oxycontin, which is manufactured by Purdue Pharma. The family of the late Arthur M. Sackler has emphasised that its members no longer hold Purdue Pharma shares, and have never benefited from sales of Oxycontin.

New York gallerist finds ‘lost de Koonings’ in storage locker | David Killen, a New York gallerist, believes that he has found a cache of six paintings by Willem de Kooning in a storage locker. Killen, reports the New York Post, paid $15,000 for the locker, which contained works that once belonged to Orrin Riley, founder of the Guggenheim Museum’s conservation department. The Willem de Kooning Foundation in Manhattan does not authenticate the artist’s works, but Killen will auction the set this autumn, attributing them to de Kooning.

Recommended reading | Aliide Naylor writes for Frieze about the World Cup Final, Pussy Riot’s pitch invasion, and how artists are treated in Putin’s Russia. For the NYRB, James Fenton explores the Met Breuer’s show ‘Like Life: Sculpture, Colour, and the Body (1300–Now)’, praising how the curators have ‘designed [it] to provoke as much as to please’. Finally, last week the winners of the Write on Art prize were announced; the prize aims to promote art-critical and art-historical writing in schools, and you can read the winning entries by Abhimanyu Gowda and Catherine Jamieson in The Art Newspaper.

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