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August 01, 2008

The Life of a successful artist... Jennifer Bartlett

The Life of a successful artist... Jennifer Bartlett

Jennifer-bartlett_house_dots_Hatches We've always loved the work of contemporary artist Jennifer Bartlett. We've written about her several times, Here, and here. (Photo #1, by Jennifer Bartlett, House: Dots, Hatches, 1999, print, 38 x 38")

In today's Wall Street Journal, there was a somewhat revealing story, of how good life can be, when you're a rich over hyped successful contemporary artist.

By living in NYC, and being an active collector, we've been lucky enough to know several artists. Sadly none of the artists we know live this large!

But we wonder, do stories like this totally shatter that image of the starving tortured artist doing everything for the love and devotion of their art work? 

Well...We guess times have been too very good for over hyped successful contemporary artists. Sadly, MAO aka..debbie downer would guess, things are probably not staying this good for most successful artists for much longer. As Bob Dylan once said...The Times.. they are a-changing !

Here's the story that was in the paper...

Artist Bartlett Sells NYC Townhouse for $17 Million 2008-07-30 22:06:24.170 (New York)

By Laura Marcinek

July 30 (Bloomberg) -- Jennifer Bartlett, a realist painter whose work is in the collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art, sold her townhouse in Manhattan's West Village for $17 million, according to public records.

The five-bedroom home at 134 Charles St. has 12,800 square feet of interior space and 2,500 square feet of multilevel gardens and terraces, according to its listing on Sotheby's International Realty's Web site. The house also has an indoor lap pool, wood- burning fireplaces and views of the Hudson River.

Built as a warehouse in 1911, the building is the former residence and art gallery of Walter P. Chrysler Jr., according to Sotheby's. Chrysler, the son of the founder of the Detroit automaker, was an art collector and theater producer and founded Air-Temp, the first manufacturer of automotive air conditioning.

Bartlett bought the building in 1989 and redesigned it into living space, offices and studios, Sotheby's said.

The townhouse was listed in May 2007 for $17.9 million, according to StreetEasy.com, an online real estate listing service. In September 2007 the price was lowered to $17.5 million.

The price was increased in January to $19.5 million.

Roberta Golubock, the Sotheby's broker for the property, would not comment on the sale or the buyer, who was listed as 134 Charles Street LLC. She said the information listed on StreetEasy.com is not related to the listing on Sotheby's Web site.

`Post-Minimalist Style'

Bartlett is a realist painter with a post-minimalist style who is known for her landscapes and interiors. She made her mark in the 1970s along with artists such as Elizabeth Murray, Richard Serra and Chuck Close.

The highest price her work achieved at auction was the $176,000 paid in 1991 for a 1978 wall-sized canvas-and-steel-plate painting titled ``At the Lake,'' sold by collector and art investor Charles Saatchi at Sotheby's in New York.

That work is currently for sale by the buyer, a private collector from Texas, at the New York- and Chicago-based Richard Gray Gallery for $385,000, said gallery director Paul Gray.

Bartlett's work usually sells for $100,000 to $200,000 and her highest private sale was about $500,000, Gray said.

The deed for the townhouse sale was posted today on the New York City Department of Finance Web site. Bartlett was not immediately available for comment, said her assistant, Joan LiPuma.

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Good for her! She's owned the home for nearly 20 years and has been around much longer. If it were someone new to the scene like flavors of the month Banks Violette, Dana Schutz, or Terence Koh, I might feel a little queasy.

If this was a professional athlete or movie star, no one would bat an eye at this story. Why is it shocking for an artist to be wealthy? It really does seem unusual and out of the norm doesn't it? Somehow, only the work of the struggling artist seems legitimate and worthy to most of us I guess.

Great topic Mike!

Ha ha! I love how some people have been calling Dana Schutz a "flavor of the month" for oh about 3-4 years now. Flavor of the decade soon I guess?

what a cheezy mean-spirited post. who cares? why is it relevant? is the core of american culture celebrity?

Anon: the whole blog has a tounge in cheek flavor, I didn't find the past offensive. At the very least, we can get a sense of what success means in this profession.

Bartlett is probably in the top 1% of artists, in terms of reputation and income, and she probably makes at most a million or two a year, if she sells well. That's still paltry compared to say, top business people, who can make that with one or two transactions. Or even top screen actors, who can get that for one film shoot, which can be as little as 2-3 months work. In the broader view of things, we should be glad that there is growing room at the top. I doubt that 50 years ago that more than one or two artists could claim that income.

That's pretty cool art.
How about going a slightly different way with Art in the form of improving a concrete jungle....

I really loved this amazing story with pictures on the Webxact site...
http://www.webxact.co.uk/2008/08/up-in-down-out-modern-art.html

incredible the way they did these paintings

Let's see: She sold her house for the price of a Jasper Johns. Not bad.

There's a house in Bristol, UK with a Banksy mural on one of the walls. The ads for it were: Free House, $300,000 Banksy Mural.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that Berlin is a must place to exhibit. I don't think my exhibition there, A KICK IN THE KUNST at Galerie Rossella Junck, would have had the same bang (and sales) in New York right now...

Matthew Rose / Paris, France

For voyeuristic MAO-ettes, you can see a tour of the house on the Apartment Therapy website:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/ny/house_tour_jenn-34282

That's a very nice pad, she dose it well good for her. Is she leaving the city?

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