Radcliffe Bailey: Works for Sale, Upcoming Auctions & Past Results

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Radcliffe Bailey

American  •  b. 1968

Biography

For nearly thirty years, Radcliffe Bailey’s paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media works of art have explored themes of race, ancestry, and cultural memory through the lens of both personal and collective African American histories. Across his varied practice, Bailey draws upon personal experiences as an African American growing up in the South in the latter half of the 20th century, and also pays homage to historic figures who have shaped the narrative of black history at large. At a young age, his mother encouraged him to visit museums such as the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, where he was first exposed to works by African American artists such as James Van Der Zee and Jacob Lawrence. In 1991, Bailey received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Atlanta College of Art, and a decade later began showing with Jack Shainman Gallery in New York. 

Bailey’s works convey the powerful sentiment of memory, and are often composed of found materials such as traditional African sculptures, vintage photographs of his family members, and piano keys.

Bailey’s practice delves into his own personal history as a means of exploring larger themes of race and civil rights. His creative process is fluid and wholly influenced by his day-to-day experiences, despite the layer of history intrinsically imbedded within the larger narratives they convey. In 2011, a solo traveling exhibition of Bailey’s work, Memory as Medicine, was exhibited at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta an institution that the artist cites as having a profound impact on the development of his artistic career. Bailey continues to reside and work in Atlanta today.

Insights

  • Selected honors: Gibbes Museum of Art Factor Prize (2010); and Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts, The Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Art Fund Inc. (1999)

“I believe that by making things that are very personal they become universal. I am first and foremost an artist, a person of this world, and an artist of African descent who grew up in the South and has chosen to continue to live and work in the South. My art is about history and the mystery of history.”

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