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Posts Tagged ‘Jackson Pollock’

The acquisition by the Metropolitan Museum of Art of Thomas Hart Benton’s groundbreaking mural America Today has aroused new interest in Benton’s murals.  America Today was commissioned by the New School for Social Research in 1930.  Two years later, Gertrude Vanderbilt, who had seen America Today commissioned Benton to create a similar mural for the Whitney Museum titled The Arts of Life in America.

The tale of those two murals offers a tragi-comic history of benign neglect and changes in critical perception that would affect the prestige and desirability of Benton’s work.  Both works passed from fame to disregard and back to fame.

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America Today: Changing West, 1930-31. Thomas Hart Benton (1889 – 1975). Egg tempera with oil glazing. Gift of AXA Equitable to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Man Ray, 1974. Andy Warhol (1928-1987). Acrylic polymer and silkscreen on canvas, 14 ¼ x 11 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Friends Purchase Fund, 1979.084.

Man Ray, 1974. Andy Warhol (1928-1987). Acrylic polymer and silkscreen on canvas, 14 ¼ x 11 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Friends Purchase Fund, 1979.084.

The last three years in the global art market have seen massive changes. The overall leaders have completely changed, with China rising from third and fourth place in the last decade to first in 2010. Meanwhile, France seems to be in a downward spiral, hard-pressed for a solution to fix its market. Their history has been prosperous in the past, but the 20th century has been less than kind. American art is still a viable commodity within the global market, however, as can be seen by Andy Warhol’s “performance” in 2010.

The taste of an art audience varies year by year, and with the 1991 crash and recovery shifting the focus from what was popular towhat sells. Fast forward to 2007, and the dominance of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Andy Warhol (1928-1987) on the art market, intermixed with a few Impressionist, as well as a massive Chinese influence-all of which helped to form the art world into a global economy that is approaching 10 billion dollars per year. Andy Warhol is at the forefront of these sales, with his revenue alone in 2010 being his all time high of $313, 535, 564. (more…)

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Nude Study, 1938. Lee Krasner (1908-1984). Charcoal on paper, 25 x 18 7/8 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Friends Purchase Fund, 1985.09.

Lee Krasner, a progressive female artist working hard throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s until the mid 1980s, has become known in larger circles as the wife of Jackson Pollock. Both artists worked for the government as part of the Works of Art Project’s (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP) which was formulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his four terms as US president, up until World War II. While Pollock may be a household name, Krasner is a celebrated artist in her own right. She was academically trained in drawing, painting, and other media. Yet it was the influence ofHans Hofmann that facilitated her Cubist-style detachments of forms in Nude Study. It was acquired by NBMAA in 1985, a year after her death. (more…)

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