Tuesday, January 1, 2008

My Favorite Year

People made it clear in the December Art Poll By Bob that what they wanted under the Christmas tree was Vincent Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet ($82.5 million USD in 1990), which won with 19 votes. Jackson Pollock’s No. 5, 1948 ($140 million USD in 2006) followed with 11 votes. Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I ($135 million USD in 2006) followed with 8 votes. Willem de Kooning’s Woman III ($137.5 million USD in 2006) and Damien Hirst’s For the Love of God ($100 million USD in 2007) brought up the rear with 4 votes each. Anyone hoping for a skull under the tree, even one encrusted with jewels, may not be someone I want to share egg nog with.

With the New Year now upon us, I’ve decided to ask “Which of the following years in art do you consider your favorite?”

1541 (Michelangelo completes The Last Judgment and his work on The Sistine Chapel; El Greco born)

1793 (The Louvre opens in Paris, beginning the phenomenon of the public art museum)

1863 (Manet exhibits The Luncheon on the Grass at the Salon des Refuses and paints Olympia, ushering in the age of Impressionism; Edvard Munch born)

1889 (Van Gogh paints his Sunflowers; The Eiffel Tower opens as part of the transformation of Paris)

1949 (LIFE Magazine asks if Jackson Pollock is “America’s Greatest Painter”; Abstract Expressionism takes hold; New York becomes the art capital of the world)

As the editors of a recent art book titled 30,000 Years of Art would agree, there are too many great years in art to count, but these are at least a start. Click on your favorite and let the debates begin!

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