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Melbourne Art Fair cancelled

Ken Griffin Buys Abstract Expressionist Works for a Reported $500 million | Cape Town Students Set Paintings Alight in Protest | Gavin Turk on Manzoni

19 February 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Melbourne Art Fair Cancelled | What would have been the 15th edition of the Melbourne Art Fair has been cancelled after the withdrawal of three major galleries. According to chairman Anna Pappas, the three ‘cutting edge’ galleries – Roslyn Oxley9, Tolarno Galleries, and Anna Schwartz – bowed out just before payment was due, leading organisers to the unanimous decision to call the event off. ‘We have no interest in becoming an affordable, mediocre art fair,’ Pappas told Guardian Australia. One does rather wonder how this makes the other exhibitors feel.

Ken Griffin Buys Abstract Expressionist Works for a Reported $500 million | Hedge funder and art collector Ken Griffin has been revealed as the buyer of two reportedly record-setting works by De Kooning and Pollock. According to The Art Newspaper, Griffin is thought to have acquired De Kooning’s Interchange for $300 million along with Pollock’s Number 17a, which is thought to have gone for $200 million. If the details are correct, this beats the record set by the Qatar Museums Authority’s $300 million purchase of Gauguin’s When Will you Marry? in 2015. Griffin is known as something of a connoisseur, having criticised other collectors for buying art for investment alone.

Cape Town Students Set Paintings Alight in Protest | Protestors at the University of Cape Town have set fire to a number of paintings they believe to be associated with the last days of Apartheid rule. The protest, which is campaigning against the lack of accommodation for poorer students, involved torching a likeness of Jan Smuts and works by Keresemose Richard Baholo, the first black student ever to receive a masters degree in fine art from the institution.

Gavin Turk on Manzoni | YBA Gavin Turk has penned an article on his hero Piero Manzoni for the Guardian, which is rather touching. ‘On a trip to the Tate, in the presence of an Yves Klein monochrome blue painting, I could hear people of all ages saying “Anyone could have done that”,’ he writes of his time as an art student. ‘Which got me thinking of things that everyone has done. “What about shit?” I thought, “that’s been done by everyone”, only to find out it actually had been.’ If you’re in London this weekend, drop by Mazzoleni gallery’s Manzoni show to see for yourself.

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