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Shall We Shake On It?

Censure the Back-Out Artists, 

Not the Avant-Garde

by Andy Cohen

Illustration by Jake Cohen.

A two-faced specter of fear and greed is haunting China’s art world: a government afraid to consecrate its modern heritage by including avant-garde art—critical of the system—in public collections; and mercenary dealers who value the RMB over art, knowledge and human relationships. I encountered this specter firsthand at Art Beijing in late April, and had to swap my collector’s hat for a pen.

At the Triumph Art Space stand, I inquired after…

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