Julie Mehretu Painting Brings Artist Auction Record of $6.5 Million on Artsy

  • June 12, 2021 16:46

  • Email
Julie Mehretu ( Ethiopian-American, b. 1970) Dissident Score, 2019-2021. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 108 × 120 in.
Artsy

Julie Mehretu’s massive painting Dissident Score (2019–21) brought $6.5 million on Artsy last Thursday, setting a record for the artist at auction.

Ethiopian-born American artist Mehretu, 51, whose two-decades worth of work is currently on view in a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, is known for her large-scale, multi-layered abstracted landscapes. 

Six international bidders sought Dissident Score, which carried a pre-sale of $3 million to $4 million, ultimately smashing her previous record set by Black Ground (Deep Light), which fetched HK$44.2 million (US$5.6 million) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April 2019.

The record price achieved for Mehretu also represents the highest-value artwork ever sold on the Artsy marketplace platform.

All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Art for Justice Fund, an initiative founded by art collector and philanthropist Agnes Gund, that invests in artists and policy advocates working to end mass incarceration in the United States and the racial bias that drives it.

“Ever since I was a young child, the idea of prison was horrifying. I was devastated to see the criminalization of people through punitive structures and systems,” Mehretu said in a statement. “A work of art can be transformative. I wanted to make something substantial, and something that encapsulated the challenges of our reality.”  

“Julie Mehretu has dedicated her life’s work to boldly exploring social, cultural, and political issues. She encourages us to radically imagine communities where safety is shared and justice is true,” Gund said in a statement. “Her tremendous generosity will help our growing community of artists and advocates accelerate the work to end mass incarceration.”

The Art for Justice Fund has to-date disbursed US$84 million to more than 200 artists, advocates, and organizations.


  • Email

More News Feed Headlines

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) Sunset, 1830-5.

After 13 Years, ARTFIXdaily to Cease Daily News Service

  • ArtfixDaily / August 15th, 2022

ARTFIXdaily will end weekday e-newsletter service after 13 years of publishing art world press releases, events and ...

Read More...
Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Critical Mass, 2002 (Courtesy of the Cheech Marin Collection and Riverside Art Museum).

Inaugural Exhibition at The Cheech Highlights Groundbreaking Chicano Artists

  • ArtfixDaily / July 7th, 2022

One of the nation’s first permanent spaces dedicated to showcasing Chicano art and culture opened on June ...

Read More...
Jacob Lawrence,.  .  .  is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?—Patrick Henry,1775 , Panel 1, 1955, from Struggle: From the History of the American People, 1954–56, egg tempera on hardboard.  Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross.  © 2022 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Crystal Bridges Explores the U.S. Constitution Through Art in New Exhibition 'We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy'

  • ArtfixDaily / July 7th, 2022

Original print of the U.S. Constitution headlines exhibition sponsored by Ken Griffin (who purchased it for $43.2 ...

Read More...
Salvador Dalí (1904–1989), Christ of St John of the Cross, 1951, oil on canvas © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Dalí / El Greco Side-by-Side Exhibit Prompts: 'Are They Really Paintings of the Same Thing?'

  • ArtfixDaily / July 6th, 2022

From July 9 to December 4, 2022, The Auckland Project in the U.K. will unite two Spanish masterpieces from British ...

Read More...

ARTFIXdaily Artwire