Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Obama's Eye

I think I'll. . .
My mother was a big fan of Josef Albers and The Bauhaus. I think she would have been pleased that the Obama's selected three Albers's color square paintings to include in their White House. As I look over the collection I see it is heavy on American mid-century artists. The era was experimental for its time and began to stretch medium and message beyond the familiar.

It is similar to the collection I inherited, only my Albers are silkscreens not paintings. My Nevelson, which I bought, is, I think nicer than theirs. I also own a lot more art by women.

The art critics have not been particularly impressed by the Obama collection. They have been polite. It is not adventuresome and women are under-represented. It is a safe selection of mostly older American artists. One painting, however, caught the ire of purists as a cheap copy of a Matisse. And Conservatives jumped on Ed Ruscha's "I think I'll" (see above) as but another example of Obama waffling. Personally, I am not sure how the Degas fit in, other than to be an inspiration to their girls.

Whatever the merits or so of the White House art, I am sure that all the critics would be delighted to view the collection up close and personal. But I am equally sure they would like to see Christo wrap the residence as well.

For more photos and reviews see: Artnet; New York Times; Washington Post

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