Home Art sale Learn about contemporary figurative painting with selections chosen by the Art Renewal Center for a Sotheby’s sale

Learn about contemporary figurative painting with selections chosen by the Art Renewal Center for a Sotheby’s sale


With a mission centered on the promotion and revitalization of figurative art, the Art Renewal Center (ARC) is at the forefront of the 21st century figurative art movement. Founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1999, ARC was originally created to document and preserve the skills and knowledge of Old Master painting techniques, particularly as they have been developed over the past centuries. The need was obvious: at that time, there were only 14 studio schools in the world that offered instruction in realistic painting styles; today, thanks in large part to the efforts of ARC, there are more than 85 ARC-accredited art schools and programs, as well as additional online resources for artists to learn and advance the arts. figurative art. Along with this proliferation of schools and workshops, realism developed a new and growing following. Although abstraction has been a dominant force over the past century, in recent years there has been a noticeable resurgence in attention to figurative and realistic work.

In the summer of 2021, Sotheby’s opened its first-ever online auction of Important 21st Century Realism, which featured 28 lots selected from the 15th ARC International Salon, the world’s largest figurative art competition. The fair received nearly 5,000 submissions from more than 80 countries and 91 works were exhibited in the gallery space of Sotheby’s New York. The realistic art exhibit was incredibly well received and the auction ultimately sold 21 of 28 lots for a total of $442,300, indicating strong interest.

Realist ARC works continued to appear at Sotheby’s contemporary auctions, which provided an invaluable platform for wide display. Currently, seven ARC works by national and international artists are included in the Contemporary Discoveries online sale, open for auction between September 23 and October 3, 2022. The fact that realism is so strongly represented in this sale highlights highlight ARC’s achievements in promoting gender.

See the Art Renewal Center selections in Sotheby’s Contemporary Discoveries sale below.

Megan Read, Evanesce (The Homecoming Child) (2022). Courtesy of the Art Renewal Center.

Lesley Thiel, In my head: I am a warrior (2022). Courtesy of the Art Renewal Center.

Tina Sprat, Before to sleep (2022). Courtesy of the Art Renewal Center.

Vanessa Lemen, Tide (2022). Courtesy of the Art Renewal Center.

The Contemporary Finds Online Auction is open for bidding from September 23 to October 3, 2022.

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