Amy Sherald's first individual show was two years ago at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. It included "The Bathers," which just sold at auction in a bidding war that stunned onlookers.
According to Culture Type, the painting set a record Monday at Phillips New York, soaring to "$4,265,000 against a low-six figure estimate of $150,000-$200,000. The painting sold for about 20 times its high estimate with bidding ongoing for 15 minutes."
The "hammer price" was $3.5 million, with fees taking it over $4M.
Sherald is the artist who earned fame with her official portrait of Michelle Obama. But when she had her first solo show at CAM, she told the Post-Dispatch's Calvin Wilson that she disagreed with coverage of her Obama piece that described Sherald as obscure. She said:
“The thing is, I was already well known in the art world, and I already had a waiting list for my work. And my career trajectory was definitely — I wasn’t worried about my life at that point, or having money. What it has done is put me into the minds of non-art lovers, the people who aren’t familiar with the arts that much at all. So I appreciate the fact that, because of this, a lot of children have become interested in the arts because they see something that they can recognize and relate to.”
The recent auction seems to confirm that she's no longer obscure.
CAM still has the monograph linked to Sherald's exhibition for sale.