The birth of Anna Weyant, the hottest new superstar in the art world

On Thursday night, a glamorous crowd of spectators sat on the seventh floor with shows and champagne flutes in hand. Sotheby’s, waiting for the show to start. Five international flags hang above the main entrance. auctionThe New York headquarters looks a lot like an embassy, ​​but the lobby is packed with busts instead of bureaucrats.

For the next two and a half hours, the room watched intently as works by 20th-century luminaries such as Ed Ruscha, Francis Bacon, and Cy Twombly sold for tens of millions of dollars, numbers that fluctuated like a dandelion.

but falling woman (2020), A painting by 27-year-old artist Anna Weyant first appeared on the docket. The clock struck six, a bid of $300,000, then $500,000 jumped out the door like a thoroughbred, with Sotheby’s bidders scrambling to snap it up. mystery clientAfter the dust settled, Weyant’s work was won by an online bidder for $1.6 million, setting a new auction record for the painter.

May 6, Gagosian Announce They began to represent Weyant, making her the youngest artist on the unparalleled roster that dominates the gallery.The buzz in the art world has been steadily building up around Weyant past three yearsbut even so, coups like this are uncommon, especially given Gagosian’s enormous influence on the world stage and the limits of the artist’s youth.

Literally many artists toiled in obscurity before they sold Single work and get gallery representation in a tough town like New York City subtle combination Skills, charisma and the right connections.

But Weyant, he Rhode Island School of Design In 2017, it seems to have achieved extraordinary growth in the market in a short period of time.

Clearly, the market has a huge appetite for these pieces. They are hard to come by at the elementary level and shows are sold out.

Lucius Elliott

“I first heard the wind from Anna Weyant last summer,” Lucius Elliott, said Sotheby’s now head of evening sales. “I had a lot of people asking me about her at the time, she had just had her first show at Blum & Poe. Obviously there was a huge appetite for these pieces. They were hard to come by at the elementary level, and the show was already sold out.”

The first work Weyant auctioned was a painting called Untitled, obtained nearly four times its estimate Phillips last June. For the young painter, the expected results of the past were no fluke.

JosephineMelancholy Still Life, SOLD $513,900 Estimated in excess of $32,000-58,000 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April, Weyant’s work at Lot 1 in May Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips. Her 2020 Paintings . summer Sold for $1.5 million Christie’s May 9 Over $200,000-300,000 estimate, Phillips sells Weyant’s on May 18 Buffet II $730,000 Estimated over $100,000 to $150,000.

“These auction results also raised and attracted a lot of attention,” Elliott said. “Rightly or wrongly, people will notice that, and the fact that she changed gallery representation at the beginning of our view is also a relevant factor, especially with Gagosian, which is the largest gallery in the world.”

Take a look at her work and you might understand the hype: Weyant’s figurative paintings feature a muted palette with a predominant preference for black, olive green and peach, evoking a range of references (Dutch Old Masters, Contemporary Classicism John Collin, Shannon Cartier LucyThe Weird Family Life), which shows a deep awe for the past and present of art.

Weyant’s female figures are unmistakably contemporary, with an uneasy edge, and her object paintings offer unexpected pairings: pistol with ribbon Beside it is a delicate vase. Her paintings are feminist, candid but restrained; a little edgy but not menacing.

Growing up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Weyant’s childhood was often “idyllic” and she Tell artnet Last year, if not necessarily art-centric.combing her past is artist’s process: “I’ve been coming back through art for the past few years, my childhood and teenage years, and now me,” she said of artnet.

“I only recently discovered this old diary I wrote when I was 13,” Weyant add to artnet. “Like all other 13 year olds, I’m a monster in many ways. One of the entries means, ‘I was just asked out by some boy and he dumped me the next day, he’s my life My dear, I am so sad. ‘ Then I signed it and said this girl – we’ll call her Stacey – ‘Looks fat today. ” Then, “Xo, Ana.” “Sadly for me, I went through this horrible breakup and then I burned someone to death in one go.”

I think if it wasn’t for Larry Gagosian’s girlfriend, she would have made it, but the ascent doesn’t happen at that rate.

Vasily Kaliman

Everyone has asked probing questions about the fledgling superstar, and insiders have been tracking Waint’s meteoric rise with skepticism and curiosity. in October, artnet report Weyant is dating 76-year-old mega-dealer Larry Gagosian, which has sparked a lot of chatter. (Gagosian Gallery and Wayant declined to comment for The Daily Beast.)

according to Page 6Gagosian and his longtime girlfriend, Chrissie Erpf, senior director of the gallery, break up in 2019. Later that year, Page 6 Gagosian has reportedly started dating his 35-year-old former personal assistant Holly Bowden.

“I think she’s fine,” art consultant Vasili Kaliman said of Weyant. “Her work now may be a spinoff of John Currin, but I think she’ll grow into her own work. I think if it wasn’t for Larry Gagosian’s girlfriend, she’d be successful, but not as fast. “

Dramatic whispers are not limited to The personal life of the artist. Wei Yangt’s first solo exhibition, welcome to doll houseat Chinatown hotspot 56 Henry in 2019. doll house shows a group of girls at rest, playing cards Or hide behind a candlestick, her painted dollhouse was inspired by a Weyant grown up.

The Wisdom of Stairs2020

Courtesy of Gagosian

2021, Screw looseWeyant performing with Blum & Poe in Los Angeles, further upgrade her aura.When Weyant connected with Gagosian earlier this month, her new gallery not mentioned her shows with 56 Henry or Blum & Poe their takeover announcementwhich sparked rumors that the dust had settled behind the scenes.

back RISDWeyant studied traditional painting at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou for seven months before returning to New York and finding a job Artist Assistant.

“Anna was an assistant to an artist I worked with,” said Ellie Rines, owner of 56 Henry. (Rines declined to name the artist Weyant worked for.) “I went [Weyant’s] Studio, her paintings have this technique of chiaroscuro, which I think is really amazing. I was really surprised that she was able to produce these very flat, gorgeous surfaces. Every few months, she makes great progress. She was very conscientious and spent the night painting in her studio. Anna is someone who really loves painting and really cares about the quality of the painting. “

“Ellie discovered Anna Weyant,” said Bill Powers, an art dealer and owner of Half Gallery. “When I broker a sale [Weyant’s] The first painting was given to Larry Gagosian, and I actually gave the deal to Ellie, and Ellie closed the deal. ”

“I invoiced Larry because I was Ana’s gallerist at the time,” Lanes said.

She’s a 27-year-old woman, and I think it’s crazy that men, mostly middle-aged men, are spreading all the rumours about her. I find this so sad.

Allie Rains

On Thursday, a Sotheby’s insider compared Wayant to Taylor Swift: both child prodigies and targets of misogynistic gossip and intense scrutiny of their dating lives.

“When someone succeeds, people forget that’s a person,” Rines said. “She’s a 27-year-old woman, and I think it’s really crazy that men, mainly middle-aged men, are spreading all these rumors about her. I think it’s so pathetic.”

With the killer’s string of victories, for better or worse, all eyes are on Weyant’s precocious and glamorous career. What happens next?

“Certainly, given last week’s results, there’s clearly a lot of interest in the work of Anna Weyant at auction, and it’s clearly in high demand,” Elliott said. “We registered some mobile phones with the works before the sale, and it turned out to be true. But as to what happens next in the auction market, it will depend on our consignors and our clients and the wind.”

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