‘How dare YOU?’: we speak to Just Stop Oil, the eco activists who threw soup over Van Gogh’s Sunflowers

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This week: we talk to Emma Brown of Just Stop Oil about why the group targeted Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (1888) in the National Gallery, London, for its climate emergency protest. Stacy Boldrick, the assistant professor of museum studies at the University of Leicester, discusses the climate protests in the context of the long history of iconoclasm and attacks on works of art.

Courtesy of Art Basel

The first version of the Paris+ par Art Basel fair in the French capital, opened this week, and we ask Melanie Gerlis, a columnist for the Financial Times and The Art Newspaper, how it compares to Paris’s previous fair, Fiac, and to the Frieze fairs in London last week.

Frank Bowling’s Suncrush (1976)

Sophie M. Friedman Fund, © Frank Bowling. All rights reserved, DACS, London & ARS, New York 2022. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

And this episode’s Work of the Week is Frank Bowling’s Suncrush (1976), which features in an exhibition of the Guyana-born artist’s work at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Reto Thüring, the curator of the show, tells us about the painting and Bowling’s 10-year stay in America in the 1960s and 1970s.

Stacy Boldrick, Iconoclasm and the Museum, Routledge, 212pp, £27.99, $35.96 (pb)

• Paris+ par Art Basel, Grand Palais Éphémère, Paris, until 23 October.

Melanie Gerlis, The Art Fair Story: a Rollercoaster Ride, Lund Humphries, 104pp, £19.99, $34.99 (hb)

• Frank Bowling’s Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 22 October-9 April 2023; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 13 May-10 September next year

• Equals 6: A Sum Effect of Frank Bowling’s 5+1, University Hall Gallery, UMass Boston, Boston, 14 November-18 February 2023.

• Revisiting 5+1, Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, Staller Center for the Arts, Stony Brook University, New York, 10 November-23 February 2023.

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