ABC News has the Obamas’ art requests for the White House. It appears that everyone at the National Gallery was in a tizzy of joy because the Obamas wanted Contemporary art. There are also some African American artists in the group like Alma Thomas, whose Watusi from 1963 is pictured left (click on the image to go to The Independent’s gallery of the Obama pictures>)
Though the NGA’s own man called the first couple’s taste mainstream:
Harry Cooper, a Trader of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art says the Obamas chosen collection has what those in the art world call “wall power.” “A lot of it is really important and pretty powerful. It has wall power. […] Strong works which are visually arresting.”
“I think there’s a great range of work – both abstract work and figurative work and within the abstraction. There’s very clean geometric paintings as well as more expressive paintings.” The National Gallery of Art loaned the White House many of the paintings and Cooper said they were all struck by the Obamas request for modern and contemporary art – such as Mark Rothko, Richard Diebenkorn, Giorgio Morand, Sam Francis, Edward Ruscha, Susan Rothenberg , and Jasper Johns.
Click through to ABC News for a detailed list of paintings and their location within the White House.
An Artsy White House (ABC News)