Ernie Barnes’ ‘Sugar House’ auctioned in the Wild West

And now, the forces of the art market are betting on an artist who once struggled to break sales at auction houses such as Swan that focused on African-American artists. New York gallerists Ortuzar Projects and Andrew Kreps and talent agency-linked art business UTA ​​Fine Art announced on Thursday that they will jointly represent the future of Barnes Estate.

The $15 million price tag is clearly well above the most ambitious estimates, but there are signs that the market will only get stronger. No one is more bullish on the man than the man who paid 80 times what the auction house thought it would sell for on a painting.

“Imagine if someone had Mona Lisa, or Monet’s water lily—If someone said, ‘Yeah, I bought it for $1,000, it’s on the wall in my living room,'” Perkins said. “That would be an amazing story, right? Well, that’s me. “

Barnes’ rapid revival dates back to 2018, when the California African American Museum began planning the artist’s first museum show in decades.

“Familiar African American good time, They recall how important that painting was to their hearts,” said Bridget R. Cooks, The curator of the show and a professor at the University of California, Irvine. “The core of the program is Sugar House.

The show has aroused everyone’s interest Arthur Lewis Principal of UTA Fine Art, the visual arts department of the prestigious Los Angeles talent agency.he finally chatted with him Luz Rodriguez, Barnes, longtime assistant trustee of the estate, struck a deal to host a show at the Beverly Hills outpost in 2019.After a brief pandemic delay, it opened in late 2020 and one of its fans was caught Andrew Kreps, Although he admits that Barnes’s work “is not usually what I show” and that he is “a bit out of the art world”, he has found his own.

“I stumbled across it during the pandemic following the UTA show and I was like, oh yeah, good time,” he said. “But I really, really liked it. So I contacted the estate and we put together a show. “

One day, a fellow Tribeca dealer of Kreps, Ayers Otuzal, Walk in and see some of the pieces sent by the estate. While Kreps primarily represents living artists, some of whom are young, since leaving David Zwirner in 2018 to open his own gallery, Ortuzar has focused on undervalued artists that have yet to gain their rightful place in New York. artist. They agreed to present the show together at the shared space at 55 Walker Street.

To their surprise, sales were strong. Kreps said he sold a piece to a very serious collector who installed it in his home next to an important painting by Jacob Lawrence, the black man The artist’s work sells for as much as $6 million.and sugar hut Also swapped hands while hanging up in the Kreps show.While the painting isn’t technically for sale, it was owned by the California couple when the show opened on September 24 Jenny and Jim Epstein, Who bought it in 1986. But many sources suggest that the Epsteins were not the shippers of the $15.3 million Ernie Barnes. Speaking with Kreps, he explained that while the Epsteins did own the piece when it was loaned to the show, and it wasn’t for sale, when the show ended on October 30, it was owned by the Epsteins. owned by another entity. A few months later, the entity entrusted it to Christie’s.

After the hammer falls sugar shack, Perkins was immediately besieged. cudi, Filmmakers who have been making films for decades Kanye West Record, Jean-Youth, A surprise hit on Netflix, Perkins turns the camera to follow him as he walks across the room. (Before Barnes died, Kanye commissioned him to create a painting commemorating the fact that he had survived a near-fatal car accident, and the finished work featured a winged, angel-like figure that looked very Like Kanye West.) A group of journalists, Perkins found a range of art dealers and consultants, many of whom speculated that Jensen had been working with Melody Hobson, wife George Lucas—Both are longtime Ernie Barnes collectors and have been on a buying spree ahead of next year’s opening of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles.At some point, Christie’s CEO Guillaume Ceruti Come up and congratulate yourself – a rare honor that can be awarded to any bidder, successful or not.

“I’m the CEO of Christie’s,” Christie’s CEO told Perkins.

“I’m, um, really emotional right now,” Perkins said. “I either want it or I want that person to pay for it.”

Despite the sky-high price, when I spoke to Perkins a few days after the auction, after a period of reflection, he still felt that he not only paid a fair price for the piece, but that it was much cheaper than anything else. This is worth it.

“I can’t loot the piece as cheaply as I used to, but I still loot,” Perkins said. “When people are biased, that’s how they underestimate things. But I can easily prove that this is a $100 million painting using the metrics they use to evaluate art.”


Your crib sheets for coming and going in the art world this week and beyond…

… For the first time ever, MoMA PS1 hosted its annual gala at the site of the former school building operated by the Long Island City Museum, a raucous upgrade to the usual rave at Big Sister MoMA Hall in the city center. “This is Queens, and when you’re here, you hear the subway,” the director Kate Fall Said in a speech after being temporarily submerged by the No. 7 train overhead. But on this day, Queens has a unique Manhattan master energy, as the table was bought by the Soros, Lauder, Speyer, Kravis, Fultz, Aarons, and Dubin families.Artists in attendance include winners Rasheed Johnson, Deanna Lawson, and Jali Brown-Sepeda, add Taryn Simon, Julie Mehretu, Chase Hall, Kayode Ojo, Odili Donald Odita, Hugh Hayden, Marie Karlberg, Fred​​​ed Eversley, Wait, there are more.

…a seasoned Frieze New York attendee is sure to time two large paintings by the artist in super demand Issy wood At her longtime London gallery Carlos/Ishikawa’s booth. But eagle-eyed viewers also saw one hanging on the wall in Michael Werner’s booth, where a director confirmed Wood would be working with the gallery. A great choice for all concerned!

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