The End of Fear

The End of Fear

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CPH:DOX

CPH:DOX 2018: THE END OF FEAR BY BARBARA VISSER

By Tara Judah

Speaking with great fervour, Dutch devotees of Barnett Newman’s large abstract painting, Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue III (1967), detail their personal and collective pain over Gerard Jan van Bladeren’s knife attack on the painting in 1986. Speaking more passionately still, experts from the art world decry the utter catastrophe that followed when Daniel Goldreyer incompetently restored the work in 1991 using controversial and aesthetically damaging methods. The story is not just well known in The Netherlands, it has become legend and is a collective source of pride-turned-pain as well as one of outward sheer bemusement.

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