Preface to the seventh edition

2014

Six paintings on display in an Emirati museum and considered to be canonical examples of early 20th century Arab abstractions that far surpass in quality their western counterparts, were removed from view last June.

Was it because their auction-house-confirrmed provenance was suddenly in question? No.

Was it because some local religious figure had ‘read between the lines’ a veiled threat to the legitimacy of the Sheikhs’ rule? No.

It was because the painter’s recently discovered journals revealed that the works, hitherto thought as modernist abstractions, were revealed to be objective paintings of western paintings' shadows.

It remains unclear why this new revelation resulted in the paintings' removal from the museum.