Contemporary realism figurative art
Ali Hammad, "The Bird Catcher," 2017, oil on linen

The Art Renewal Center (ARC) is holding an online auction hosted on Sothebys.com. Open for bidding online from July 16 – July 26, 2021, this sale is entitled “Contemporary Realism: Important 21st Century Works.” It consists of 28 lots featuring a carefully selected group of winners and high-ranking finalists from the largest competition in the world for representational art.

The ARC received 4,941 entries from 83 countries and spanning six continents to their 15th International ARC Salon Competition. In person viewing will be available at Sotheby’s NY during these same dates in conjunction with the 15th International ARC Salon Exhibition; a total of 91 contemporary representational works to be on view. The public opening will be held on July 17, from 11am to 3pm (please RSVP to attend this event).

The works represent a diverse grouping of artists of different ethnicities, genders and backgrounds from around the world. Starting as only a murmur in the 1980’s, the 21st Century Representational Art Movement has grown exponentially along with interest and demand. It is anticipated that this public sale for Important 21st Century Realism hosted by Sotheby’s will be the first of many.

contemporary realism paintings
Christopher Remmers, “Zain,” 2020, oil on Belgian linen, 84 x 80 in.
Contemporary realism narrative paintings
Sandra Kuck, “Yin and Yang,” 2020, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in.
portrait drawing of a young man
Kumiko S. McKee, “Isaiah,” 2017, graphite on paper, 40 x 30 in.
Still life painting of flowers
Jim McVicker, “Red Rhododendron,” 2020, oil on linen, 60 x 54 in.

The ARC has also partnered with Fashion Week San Diego® (FWSD), California’s largest traditional fashion week, to present “Art and Beauty Behind Fashion,” on July 24, where nine FWSD designers will debut their original couture outfits on live models, paired with and inspired by premier pieces from the 15th ARC Salon Competition. Tickets to “Art & Beauty Behind Fashion” will be an exclusive event requiring an RSVP to be made in advance at [email protected]

This Fall: Contemporary Realism on View in Barcelona

After the show at Sotheby’s NY, the majority of works in the exhibition will be traveling on to the Museum of European Modern Art, (MEAM), in Barcelona, (October 8 – December 12), joining additional works from the competition. Here it will hang alongside the MEAM’s representational painting and sculpture competition, Figurativas. This awe-inspiring event will showcase the true international nature and collaborative spirit of this new wave in Contemporary Art.

Kara Lysandra Ross, ARC Co-Chair and COO states, “21st Century Representational Art cannot possibly be mistaken for any other period in fine art, as it is inherently an expression of today’s society, communicating our shared humanity. For 100 years, artists have been deconstructing works of fine art, creating paintings that are visually flat, throwing paint, or even showing blank canvases. At the time this was new, exciting and shocking. Now, in the 21st century, thousands of artists and collectors alike want to start reconstructing and reclaiming our universal visual language, like great theater, suspending disbelief, and expressing it all with beauty, poetry and grace.”


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