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

Thomas Cole, Home in the Woods (1847), oil on canvas, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Gift of Barbara B.  Millhouse

'The Voyage of Life: Art, Allegory, and Community Response' Opens at Reynolda House Museum of American Art

  • ArtfixDaily / July 19th, 2021

The Voyage of Life: Art, Allegory, and Community Response opened July 16 to members, first responders, and Wake ...

Read More...
Anila Quayyum Agha, Intersections, mixed media on paper.  Image courtesy of the artist and Talley Dunn Gallery, © Anila Agha

ARTFIXdaily Closed to August 9; Ahead: Solo Exhibition Exploring Light and Loss in 2020 Debuts Immersive Works by Anila Quayyum Agha at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art

  • ArtfixDaily / July 19th, 2021

ARTFIXdaily will be closed and e-newsletter service suspended until August 9, 2021. Looking ahead, a dozen new ...

Read More...
Humboldt Forum.  Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss, Photo: David von Becker

The Humboldt Forum Opens In Berlin

  • ArtfixDaily / July 19th, 2021

The Humboldt Forum, the largest cultural development in Europe and the most ambitious in Germany this century, will ...

Read More...
1909 Postcard of the then Oakland Public Library, Oakland, California, (now the African American Museum and Library at Oakland).

The National Trust for Historic Preservation Awards $3 Million in Grants to 40 Places Preserving Black History

  • ArtfixDaily / July 15th, 2021

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, through its African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, has ...

Read More...

Related Press Releases

ARTFIXdaily Artwire