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Obama and the arts, Part 2

June 9, 2009 |  3:40 pm


Now that the whole world knows about the Obamas' tastes in the theater, what can be said about their preferences in the visual arts?

The first family has already set about revamping the White House art collection with works by minority artists and paintings by contemporary abstract masters Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha and Louise Nevelson.

And since the Obamas' much-discussed visit to the Centre Pompidou in Paris last weekend, we can safely add some other masters to their list of favorites: Wassily Kandinsky and Alexander Calder.

Culture Monster has learned that the president made arrangements to view ...

... the museum's Kandinsky retrospective and even got a special tour with the show's curator, Christian Derouet. The exhibition, which runs through Aug. 10, features about 100 paintings by the Russian-French artist spanning the last half of his life from 1907 to 1942. The show has a special focus on his two cycles of paintings, "Impressions" and "Improvisations."

The Obamas also caught "Alexander Calder: les Années Parisiennes, 1926-1933," which focuses on the American artist's early years in Paris. And no doubt the first family also caught the exhibition titled "elles@centrepompidou," a yearlong show of 500 works by more than 200 artists -- all women. "Elles" is the largest female-centric exhibition attempted by a major museum. It features paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings, photographs, videos, furniture and architectural models.

The Obamas, who were joined by daughters Sasha and Malia, spent approximately 90 minutes at the museum. They also took in Notre Dame cathedral and the Eiffel Tower during their Parisian sejour.

Check out this video of the Pompidou's Kandinsky exhibition featuring curator Derouet (in French):

-- David Ng and Suzanne Muchnic

Photo: President Obama and his daughter Malia take in the Parisian skyline from atop the Centre Pompidou. Credit: Loic Venance / AFP / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (2)

Well it sure beats the culture of the preceding President!

Ruschas I think I'll.. is the perfect send up of Democratic waffling, a joke piece, as all his stuff are, intentional or not.

Hope he will buy some of Romare Beardens works, which August Wilsons play, The Piano, is taken from. And other excellent little known black American painters like Charles Alston.


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