Chicago Pulls Kerry James Marshall Painting From Auction Following Criticism

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A beloved painting by an artist who has become synonymous with Chicago won’t be sold at auction by the city after all.

Kerry James Marshall’s “Knowledge and Wonder” was set to be sold at Christie’s on Nov. 15. Mr. Marshall, a Chicago-based artist who rose to prominence because of his lush depictions of black culture, finished the painting in 1995 for display in the Legler branch of the Chicago Public Library. In early October, Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, announced that the city would sell the work, with the proceeds going toward upgrading the library, a decision met with fierce criticism from public-arts advocates. The artist himself criticized the move in the aftermath of the decision.

“I am certain they could get more money if they sold the Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza,” Mr. Marshall said in a statement to ArtNews, adding, “You could say the City of Big Shoulders has wrung every bit of value they could from the fruits of my labor.” In May, his painting “Past Times,” which hung in a Chicago convention center, sold for $21.1 million at Sotheby’s in New York, bringing in an unexpected windfall for a small municipal agency in Chicago, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.

“Knowledge and Wonder,” a mural depicting several black figures of varying ages staring at larger-than-life books, had been estimated to sell for $10 million to $15 million.

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/05/arts/design/chicago-kerry-james-marshall-christies-auction.html

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