Monday, September 15, 2008

Why isn't Diebenkorn famous?

"Consider the case of Richard Diebenkorn, whose paintings are passionately admired by countless collectors and connoisseurs of modern art, not a few of whom place him close to the top of the short list of America's greatest artists. But Diebenkorn, who died in 1993, has never quite made it into the pantheon of American modernism. MoMA owns a half-dozen of his paintings and works on paper, all of them first-rate. And how many are hanging there today? Not a one.

Why isn't Diebenkorn famous? Because his work doesn't fit into the standard narrative that many critics, scholars and museum curators use to explain the history of 20th-century art. For openers, he was a West Coast artist who spent most of his adult life in California when New York was universally regarded as the creative center of American art. And though he started out painting boldly colored Abstract Expressionist canvases that made perfect sense to the critics of the early '50s, he took a sharp turn off the smooth road of history in 1955 and returned to figurative painting, producing an even more remarkable series of portraits, still lifes and suburban cityscapes."
Read this excellent WSJ article by Terry Teachout here.

ABMB stays in MB

Art Basel Miami Beach will stay in Miami Beach:

Art Basel, the country's biggest contemporary art show, will return to Miami Beach through 2011 under a hard-fought deal with the city that gives the show's owner a financial stake in the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The center's four-day art show has exploded into a week of festivals from the mainland to Miami Beach, with a global following paying sky-high hotel rates and generating a stream of private jets that tourism officials say rivals a Super Bowl.

But until now, Art Basel had refused to commit to the show for more than one year, leaving city officials to ponder losing the tourism draw to another U.S. location in their annual negotiations with Basel executives.

That changed Wednesday when city commissioners ousted the management of the convention center in favor of a partnership between Global Spectrum, a Comcast subsidiary, and Basel parent firm Messe Schweiz. The deal calls for Global to manage the facility and Messe Schweiz to market it abroad.
Read the Miami Herald story here.


Gradations 1 by Larry 'Poncho' BrownCelebrations: African American Portraits of Beauty will be on exhibit in Harford Community College’s Chesapeake Gallery in Bel Air, MD from September 18-November 3.

The exhibit will showcase the works of artists including Romare Bearden, Ernie Barnes, Paul Goodnight, Maurice Evans, Joseph Holston, Bernard Stanley Hoyes, Cynthia St. James, Ted Ellis, Woodrow Nash, Frank Morrison, LaShun Beal, John Holyfield, Varnette Honeywood, Sylvia Walker, and Leroy Campbell.

The public is invited to meet featured artist Larry “Poncho” Brown on Thursday, October 16, at a free luncheon and lecture, 1:30-3:00 PM, in the Student Center, Room 243, or at a reception featuring music by former HCC student Danton Whitley and Mosaic Sound, 6-7:30 PM in the Chesapeake Gallery located in the Student Center. An RSVP for lunch is required; call 410-836-4224.