A blog about art in the classical tradition

Martin Disler
Endless modern licking of crashing globe
by black dobbie time-bomb, 1981
from the Deutsche Bank Collection

If you’ve ever been to a major corporation’s headquarters you’ve probably seen it: large sculputes and painting that consist of twisted metal and color. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a plaque describing the piece, usually in several paragraphs and little resembling what you are seeing. If you’re not lucky the plaque says “untitled no. 1.”

Many corporations see art as part of their civic duty and as a a tax shelter. They dedicate as much as one-percent of their building costs to purchasing art and, thus, have created a sub-culture of art consultants and curators who help them amass it.

The Las Vegas Business Press, published an interview with a few corporate consultants to some of Las Vegas’ largest casinos. They reveal some of their clients’ issues in buying art. My favorite snippet:

“. . . it’s much safer to show artwork that’s about color, form and line, as opposed to a representational picture of people having a picnic by the sea.”

According to this article, the equation corporations use to evaluate art is people = values, values=intolerance. (And the last thing companies need is values–that can lead to law suits.) Thus, abstract art is the safest choice.

Just in case you want to be enriched by the valueless glory of corporate art, here are a few companies’ online art collections:


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§68 · September 7, 2006 · Art · · [Print]

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