White House Art

The art world is buzzing that the president wants contemporary art in the private residence of The White House. Former museum director David A. Ross on what could (and should) be hanging at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. See our gallery:

Copyright, Kiki Smith; Courtesy, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London

Kiki Smith

Kiki Smith, an artist with an enormous imagination, makes drawings, prints, but most importantly, sculpture that has set a tone for her generation.

‘Night Birds on Black
Rainbow’, 2006
Ink on Nepal paper

Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY

Betye Saar

Betye Saar, a pioneering African-American artist, produces images resonant with the nuances of black history.

Betye Saar (b.1926)
Untitled, 1976-77
mixed media collage on handkerchief
10" x 10", signed

Courtesy of the artist and The Project, New York; Photo: Tim Thayer

Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu, a painter working with the complex imagery of our media-saturated culture, transforms the into swirling, layered abstract forms.

Black City
2007

Courtesy of Cindy Sherman and Metro Pictures

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is the master of narrative self-portraiture, producing large-scale photographs that demonstrate the mutability of identity.

Cindy Sherman
Untitled (#199), 1989
color photograph
24 15/16 x 18 inches

Copyright Amy Cutler, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Amy Cutler

Amy Cutler’s gouaches employ a child-like sense of the surreal to poke at stereotypical roles, revealing a serious sensibility.

Amy Cutler
Four Snowmen, 2002
Gouache on paper
22 x 30 inches

Vija Celmins, Courtesy of McKee Gallery

Vija Celmins

Vija Celmins's work questions the nature of abstraction, by producing scrupulously detailed drawings annd paintings based on photographs of the sea or the desert sands.

Vija Celmins (1938)
Night Sky #19, 2004
oil on linen mounted on board

Laura Owens, Courtesy of Crown Point Press

Laura Owens



Laura Owens, Untitled (LO 272), 2004
Color spit bite aquatint with soft ground etching
39-1/2 x 44-1/2”, edition 40
Published by Crown Point Press

Lorna Simpson

Lorna Simpson

Lorna Simpson creates photo-based works that focus on African-American life, while exploring broader issues of woman's role in contemporary society.

"Waterbearer" (1986)
gelatin silver print, vinyl lettering
photograph 45 x 77 inches (framed)
55 x 77 inches overall