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Ross Bleckner

American  •  b. 1949

Biography

Ross Bleckner's large-scale, almost-cosmic abstract paintings came to define a certain aesthetic era in New York in the 1980s and '90s. As much known for his celebrity friendships and Sex and the City references to his long-time relationship with gallerist Mary Boone, Bleckner is somewhat of a star, especially as the youngest artist to receive a solo retrospective at the Guggenheim at the age of 46. 

His circular dot paintings, which serve as both activism and tribute to the disastrous impact of the AIDS empidemic on New York's gay community, are some of his most buzzed-about and recognizable works still today. However, his heydey was hardly just the '90s—with international gallery exhibitions yearly and a steady, accessible market that has held its value; in 2016, Artnet described Bleckner as an "'80s Art World 'It' Boy Having a New York Moment" when he had six shows running concurrently.

Insights

  • Bleckner's highest auction record is $192,000 for Oceans in 2006. Recently in 2015, Phillips sold Cage, a work from the same series, for $149,000.

  • Bleckner was a Studio 54 regular, especially as Bianca Jagger's best friend and arm candy.

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