Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Up till now the White House art collection has been completely void of abstract art. Michelle and Barack are about to put an end to that. There is a great article up on Guernica about the history of the White House art collection and America's relationship to modern and abstract art. While the Obamas are interested in including artists of color and women in the collection they are also groundbreakingly going to be adding some abstract art. Its actually pretty amazing the number of big American artists who are not included in the collection - no Pollocks, Rothkos, or Warhols. Interestingly enough, the most American genre of art is not in the American president's home.
However, Barack has already started moving in Ed Ruscha, Richard Diebenkorn, Alma Thomas, Josef Albers- and talking about Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Louise Nevelson. Now plenty of those are white dudes - I'm hoping he'll take in a few more minority artists. Yet, I find it encouraging that we have a president who is both an intellectual and culturally aware of modern art history. Just in case you were wondering, George W. Bush had cheerful photo realistic landscapes of Texas in his oval office, because "he wanted it to look like an optimistic person worked there".