Thursday, December 17, 2009

Exposed: Copies in Controversy

Following and combining two of my recent posts is another quirky story. An Alma Thomas work was loaned to the White House by the Hirshhorn Museum thus creating a mini controversy with her painting, "Watusi (Hard Edge)." The 1963 painting is extremely similar to a 1953 piece entitled L’Escargot by Matisse. As we know many painters copy favorite paintings as part of their developmental process as well as their dialog with art. Copies, elaboration, appropriation and more are all common grist for the mill these days.

Anyway, there was a lot of comment on line and the painting was removed from the White House. The White House press office says,"it was moved because it didn’t fit the space right."

Take a look and see what you think...

Above: Henri Matisse, The Snail,1953 Below: Alma Thomas, Watusi (Hard Edge), 1963; courtesy of Flavorwire.

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