CMU School of Drama

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Plays About the Art World? Not Sold

The New York Times: When the art market bubbled in the late 1980s, playwrights took notice — and wrote such works as Donald Margulies’s “Sight Unseen” (1991) which orbits around a hyped-up painter, and Yasmina Reza’s “Art” (1994), set amid the Paris collecting class. Yet even when compared to the go-go 1980s, the last 15 years have been transformative for the art market, with ever higher prices for at least a subset of modern and contemporary painting and sculpture.

1 comment:

Katherine Sharpless said...

I am very interested in art history and both the "art world"/market and the "art underworld"/black market. I haven't had the chance to see "Red" or "Sunday in the park with George" but oh man those are the types of shows I would love to work on. I definitely can see the author's point here, that plays haven't incorporated plot and character well into the art world, and perhaps it's because there's so much mystery, misconception, and class surrounding every sale and every theft in the art world that it's hard to pin down or relate to. For example, I recently watched a documentary on the top ten most expensive paintings ever sold, most around the 1980's to present day as the author mentioned, and more often than not billionaires with wild money to spend go to auctions, buy a Picasso, and keep it away to never be seen again. Some of these paintings are leased to museums for a few years, others are even destroyed. This extravagance does seem so un-relatable to an audience member, as does the black market were stolen paintings are kept as collateral for drug deals. It's really interesting, but out of touch with the general population. As the author elaborates on, there's everything between these two extremes and the people and emotions are present to tell great stories on stage, and I eagerly await for someone to get it right.