Did the Supremes crimp art?

Van Meegeren's forgeries of Vermeer were absolutely horrible. It could only have been greed and the desire to snatch up paintings by Vermeer from under the noses of the Nazis that led anyone to confuse the painter of this:


... with Vermeer:

St. Lukes, you used the right word in my opinion for Warhol, "clever". Yes, he was indeed clever in his interpretations, but just a hair shy of original. An original interpretation perhaps. While I can appreciate those paintings, I would never put him nor many other pop artists in the same league as Thiebaud. Thiebaud was both original and very much using and expanding on the devices that Van Gogh and others pioneered. He took it all to new heights - sometimes literally!
I would not underestimate Thiebaud. I use his paintings to teach my students about contemporary still-life painting. On the other hand, Thiebaud was clearly and observational artist who built upon the Impressionist/Post-Impressionist traditions of Monet, Van Gogh, Bonnard, Vuillard, etc... and there are a good many mid-century American artists who worked within this tradition who are every bit as interesting IMO as Thiebaud:




David Park:

David Park Bathers 1954 SF MOMA.jpg

Elmer Bischoff:



Paul Wonner:



Fairfield Porter:


Alex Katz:



Niel Welliver:


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R.B. Kitaj:

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Where these artists (with the exception of Kitaj) mostly work in a tradition based upon observation, Pop Art is built on not only direct observation, but also the mass media... which is arguably the largest purveyor of imagery over the last century: photography, film, advertising, television, posters, collage, etc... I admire both directions/traditions. Lucian Freud and Andrew Wyeth were brilliant masters of Art rooted in direct observation:



But for my money, perhaps the most powerful painting of the Post-Ab-Ex/Pop Art era is James Rosenquist's F-111:



While Art rooted in direct observation is a noble tradition that really begins with Vermeer and the "little Dutch masters" continuing on through the English landscape tradition, French Realism, Impressionism, etc... I tend to lean more toward an art building more upon imagination, invention, distortion, and even abstraction. This would include the art of Medieval Europe, the Renaissance, Mannerism, much of the Baroque, the Rococo, Neo-Classicism, and obviously Modernism. I don't know if the two traditions should be thought of as being at odds with each other... but I do recognize that I think in terms of an Art suggested by Matisse's famous quip:

Visitor: "That woman's arm is too long."
Matisse: "That is not a woman, sir, it's a painting."- Matisse
A lot of good stuff, Stlukes. Thiebaud - indeed any artist of note - is not alone. But for me he embodies in his very extensive body of evolving work the use of specific "modern" art principles derived or informed by Van Gogh and others I most admire.