Monday, March 07, 2011

The more things change...

"At the height of the Washington Color School's popularity, Washington and New York art elites inhabited the same circles. Reed recalls meeting the abstract painter Robert Motherwell at an opening. Motherwell was married to Frankenthaler but was accompanied by Lisa Fonssagrives, the world's first supermodel, who was married to iconic photographer Irving Penn. "He moved in great feminine circles," Reed says.

But financial success eluded the artists. The Jefferson Place Gallery that supported so much of the Color School's work closed in 1975. The '80s were a bitter period for Washington art dealers, but the pressures on Reed did not change much for the worse. "It was always difficult. I have to sell. It's curious. I'm just about poverty level. Here I am this famous artist," Reed says.

He doesn't say whether the spotlight would have shined on Washington longer had a collector base emerged to support its painters."
The more they stay the same... Kriston Capps has an excellent piece on Paul Reed, the last of the Washington Color School painters; read it here.

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