What Do Tastemakers Dream of Hanging on Their Walls During Thanksgiving?

These works would really impress your guests.

John Currin's Thanksgiving (2003).Image: Courtesy Tate.org.uk.

John Currin’s Thanksgiving (2003).
Image: Courtesy of Tate.org.uk.

As the art world takes an all too brief breather between the bustle of blockbuster November auctions and the frenzy of the Art Basel in Miami Beach season next week, we pause to ponder the imminent Thanksgiving  holiday. We were curious about what art lovers, collectors, and dealers would want to hang on their dining room wall or install in the living room to impress their guests and complete the party.

Several top tastemakers gave us their favorite picks, whether it be a work they already own or one they’ve always coveted.


Albrecht Dürer Praying Hands (1508). Image via Google Art Project

Yvonne Force Villareal, co-founder, Art Production Fund
Since she was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design in the late 1980s, Yvonne Force Villareal has been “been obsessed with Albrecht Dürer’s Praying Hands from 1508,” she told artnet News in an email. “Art historians claim it was most likely the artist’s own hands in prayer. The work conveys how this masterful artist’s hands were guided to create art through a higher power. As a yogi I am fascinated that this ‘anjali mudra’ (a Sanskrit word which means divine offering) has been documented in art since 4000 BC; it embodies profound meaning. When the palms come together a connection is made with the right and left hemispheres of the brain, and it represents unification with the divine in all things.”


Edouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882).


Frances Beatty, president, RL Feigen
This year, Frances Beatty tells artnet News that she is heading to Paris, which she says “is like a second home to me” in order to “offer sympathy and solidarity to our French friends.” She chose Edouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882) calling it “a feast for the eye and mind,” and  “quintessentially Parisian.” The unflappable gallery president, who is an advocate for the work of Frank Stella, Ray Johnson, and her friend James Rosenquist, says: “I can empathize with Manet’s barmaid, but am, in contrast, a very grateful and happy hostess this Thanksgiving.”


Brad Kahlhamer Spirit Animal (2014).
Image: Courtesy of BradKahlhamer.com

Doreen Remen, co-founder, Art Production Fund
“I would love to honor the holiday with a work by Brad Kahlhamer,” Doreen Remen told artnet News. “I have a complicated relationship with Thanksgiving. It is important to have gratitude for our country, and the blessings in our life, but we should also hold a sense of responsibility for what we have done as a people to each other. I think a work by Kahlhamer—an artist who is of Native American descent and who addresses complicated issues of identity and representation—would help us confront the past, learn from our mistakes, and commit together to make a better future.”


Lisa Cooley

Jana Euler Where The Energy Comes From (2014).
Image: Courtesy of Contemporary Art Daily.


Lisa Cooley, founder and owner of Lisa Cooley gallery
Lisa Cooley, who runs an eponymous Lower East Side gallery in Manhattan, told artnet News: “I’d say the first Jana Euler painting, which I don’t own.” She adds: “I don’t know the details of the painting but I fell in love with it instantly. It’s harsh and obtuse and funny and bold, even a little silly. I’m completely gobsmacked in love with her paintings.”


Tintoretto Marriage at Cana (1561).
Image via Wikipedia

Madelaine D’Angelo, founder and director of Arthena
The founder of Arthena, an art-related equity crowdfunding platform, chose Tintoretto’s depiction of a wedding feast in Wedding at Cana (1561). “Tintoretto always reminds me of growing up and spending my summers in Italy, and Venice with my family,” said D’Angelo. The painting is “an unbelievably complex work and exquisite work, that shows a feast in celebration of a wedding. I wish that all my Thanksgiving dinners would have the same jubilant feeling as this piece.”


Pieter Claesz Still Life With a Turkey Pie (1627).
Image: Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Augusto Arbizo, owner of Eleven Rivington Gallery, New York
Last but not least, what would the day be without the turkey? Lower East Side gallerist Augusto Arbizo chose an equally rich Old Master painting, Pieter Claesz’s Still Life With Turkey Pie (1627), which is part of the Rijksmuseum Collection in Amsterdam.

“I would so love to have a classic Dutch still life!” Arbizo said. Of the Claesz (above), he says: “It’s a feast—oysters, bread, olives, a holiday appropriate turkey pie, and wine!”

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
  • Access the data behind the headlines with the artnet Price Database.
Article topics