New American Paintings/Blog


Collecting Critically: A Q&A with Henry L. Thaggert by New American Paintings

Andy Warhol’s relationship to abstraction is charged. Despite a latecareer painterlyimpulse — which included the Shadows series currently exhibiting at the Hirshhorn — his pictorial language based on representation fundamentally questioned the narrative of post-war painting as defined by Clement Greenberg. And the implications of Pop Art’s emergence over Abstract Expressionism were significant, not least for black artists as changes in collecting preferences opened new doors for art about the African American experience. This was the premise of a talk by art collector Henry Thaggert at the Philips Collection in Washington D.C. a few years back. It’s a perspective that Kara Walker seems to echo, at least indirectly, in a talk on Andy Warhol scheduled for next week at the Hirshhorn. I recently caught up with Thaggert to talk further about Warhol, get his thoughts on collecting art, and about his involvement in the local art scene. – Matthew Smith, D.C. Contributor


Andy Warhol | Shadows, 1978-79. Dia Art Foundation. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Photo: Cathy Carver.

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Highlights from (e)merge: the artists platform by New American Paintings

Unlike the gallery platform, two-dimensional works were a bit less common in the artist platform at (e)merge. It’s not surprising — in their call to artists the organizers expressed an interest in site-specific work that engaged with the idiosyncrasies of a hotel setting. But it may also point to the organizers’ desire to favor experimentation over commerce in this portion of the fair. There were simultaneous performances throughout (e)merge, and they were hard to miss, but we also got a look at a couple of two-dimensional works as well. New American Paintings’ contributors, Matthew Smith and Alex Ebstein, discuss the artist platform at (e)merge, which closed yesterday. More after the jump!


DC Cheer!, an artist project led by Kristina Bilonick, greeted artists with encouragement as they arrived. Photo by E. Brady Robinson

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