Sunday, May 24, 2009

Decider-in-Chief


The Wall Street Journal has a piece on the art displayed in the Obama White House. Apparently for the first time ever, there's a painting made in Los Angeles: Ed Ruscha's 1983 I Think I'll, on loan from the National Gallery. (There's also a Diebenkorn, but it's from the Berkeley series.)
News to me: Hillary Clinton trashed the Henry Ossawa Tanner market. As First Lady, she bought a Tanner landscape from the artist's family for the bargain price of $100,000. Similar Tanners were selling for around a million. The White House purchase got tons of publicity, and the below-market price sent the value of Tanners plummeting.

2 comments:

Donald Frazell said...

Who cares? He is dead. And not exactly a great painter anyway. I shouldn't say anything, as I had shown at the old Gallery Tanner on Pico years ago. As the first known African American painter, he got some pub, but really, just one in a whole bunch boring artists. There have been many others far better, including African Americans who never got anything like that, like Romare Bearden and earlier Charles Alston.
I hope Obama buys some of their stuff, at least their kids might get some $. Or more importantly, their works become better known. Thats what counts when you are dead, who cares about collectors and markets, not artists.

art collegia delenda est

Donald Frazell said...

I rather think the Ruscha is a joke. Well, he is, but this work is there to keep the place laughing at itself, or at the view of Democrats in general. I hope his overpriced garbage goes down, I am sure it has with all the other Contempt crap of the last fifty years.

Though Diebenkorn is the real deal, maybe his will go up. But sad to see the Ocean Park exhibit he was to have in the OC, perhaps the only piece of truly art culture they have ever done, or would have besides a photo show of mine decades ago, has been put off. Perhaps cancelled, we know how the neveau riche OC folks are, jittery.