Art styles in the contemporary art world change every fifteen or twenty years, and here in New York we have shows by leading artists that represent the best in the past three generations or at least the last 45 years. First is Willem deKooning, who started the idea of abstract art with no subject matter other than color and design, and today his work sells for over two hundred million a piece. De Kooning, who died in the seventies, has a show of his work at a new gallery here in New York, called Heather James at 42 East 75th Street, on the Upper East Side. The show is wonderful, especially the small abstract drawings.
From the next generations art movement comes Andy Warhol’s retrospective, at the new Whitney Museum on the Hudson. It is a fabulous compilation of Warhol’s pop art work from the pop art pictures of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis to the dark side of tragedy in the sixties, with pictures of Jackie Onassis after JFK had been shot. The collection also includes pictures of the electric chair and war instruments.
As we move forward and in to the present generation with works by Julian Schnabel, who started becoming a star by breaking glass dishes and gluing them on to a canvas. Collectors said these pieces would often fall in the night and cause destruction in their homes with the fragments of glass breaking on to the ground.
Now Julian is more of a lofty and intellectual with his new biographical film of Vincent Van Gogh…which is considered a masterpiece.
There is no better way to see what is happening in the contemporary art world than going to galleries on the Upper East Side, the Soho Galleries in the in the mid-20th streets on the Hudson River and then taking the High Line along the West Side Highway to the Lower East Side, where the new Whitney Museum is housed.
Art is not for everyone. It never has been. But for those of you who love it like I do, I want to turn you on. Enjoy.