Art-Vandalism in Amsterdam:
December 1997:
Barnett Newman
's paintings attacked again

There are two of the most important works of Abstract Expressionism in the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum: Paintings by Barnett Newman.
Barnett Newman,  Who is Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue, 1951
Barnett Newman: Who is afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue, 1957
© VG Bild Kunst, Bonn, 1997

Who is afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue is an art piece, which has a very special meaning for me:
through this painting I encountered the power, which can be released by an art piece, for the first time in my life.

Barnett Newman, Cathedra, 1951
Barnett Newman: Cathedra, 1951
© VG Bild Kunst, Bonn, 1997

More than 15 years ago, I visited the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam to avoid the rain. I passed by this painting, but gave no attention to it. But when I had nearly passed it, I felt that something took me, hindered me to leave. It was this painting. For more than 2 hours I stood there, and I could not leave it. It's energy attracted me more and more and I had to control myself not to touch it.
Since then, art is substantial for me, and the works of Barnett Newman give me a feeling of happyness, when I meet them.

Unfortunately, this painting keeps it's title not without reason: some people are afraid of it, and some people are induced to destroy it. Not many years ago, a mentally deranged man destroyed it with a knife. He was released from prison (or hospital) now and once more he planned to attack it. He wanted to destroy it a second time, because he thought that he and Barnett Newman had finished this masterpiece together and the restauration was not right.

He came back to the museum and because he couldn't find Who is afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue, as it is not exhibited in the moment, he destroyed Cathedra with his knife.

It is tragic that these works can't be protected and I must admit that I feel hurt personally by this act of vandalism.

I present these works here, because I don't want that these dramatic elements will be forgotten. I am astonished that there is no information about this act of vandalism at the pages of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

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