Sunday, September 28, 2003

That Auction

Just a follow-up to yesterday's post: We went to the auction, so I can see that I've seen that particular elephant.

I think I was last at the Pines Ranch the summer of 1975, when I drove there in Dad's Chevy Vega from Colorado Springs, got permission to park it near the lodge, and walked up through the nearby summer cabins, onto the Rainbow Trail, and thus to Lake of the Clouds.

Obviously, it has changed a little. I spotted the two-story Victorian lodge with the porch that I remembered, but that whole fake Western town/office/dining hall/swimming pool complex was not there then.

As for the art, I have nothing against representational art (one of my favorite painters of all time is still John Singer Sargent), but I want it to move me somehow, to go beyond mere postcard prettiness. (I love Sargent's nervous intensity.) One more office-credenza-size bronze bull elk or mounted-cowboy-with-packhorse does not do much for me.

It was 95 percent standard middle-range-Taos-art-gallery stuff, well-executed but predictable. Back in the 1970s we started calling some of that genre "oil company boardroom art"-- romantic views of the country that they are now cutting up with roads and drill pads. My checkbook stayed in my pocket. OK, I had tentatively set a spending limit in the hundreds, and pretty much everything was in the $1,200-$2,500 range; and I would have to be deeply in love to spend that kind of dough.



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