3. Richard Diebenkorn, Berekeley, No. 52, 1955
The majority of works to come into the White House since Obama took office have been abstract. Abstraction is a type of level playing field, where the arts “speak to our common condition.” That phrase comes from remarks he made during a speech given at the 2012 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal ceremony. President Obama said:
Equal to the impact you have on each of us every day as individuals is the impact you have on us as a society. And we are told we’re divided as a people, and then suddenly the arts have this power to bring us together and speak to our common condition.