Julie Mehretu’s “Dissident Score” sells for $6.5 million

June 16, 2021

Julie Mehretu’s painting, “Dissident Score” (2019–21) sold for US$6.5 million on Artsy on June 10. Setting a new record for the artist at auction, the price achieved also sets the records for the highest-value artwork ever sold on Artsy. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Art for Justice Fund that directly supports artists, advocates, and organizations working to end mass incarceration.
“Ever since I was a young child, the idea of prison was horrifying,” said Julie Mehretu. “I was devastated to see the criminalization of people through punitive structures and systems…I want to acknowledge the other artists and my colleagues in this collective effort who have also made significant contributions to the Art for Justice Fund: Mark Bradford, Nick Cave, Paula Crown, Stanley Whitney, Mark di Suvero, Jeff Koons, Titus Kaphar, and Dwayne Betts.”
The monumental painting (274.3 x 304.8 cm) saw competition from six active bidders hailing from Asia, Europe, and North America, and was finally sold to a private collector.
Commenting on this extraordinary sale, Artsy’s Chief Revenue Officer Dustyn Kim said: “This monumental sale on Artsy represents the most expensive artwork sold on our platform in the company’s history and on any online-only marketplace. It joins an ever-growing number of works we’ve sold in the seven-figure price range, and it set a new record for the artist at an auction as well as a record auction total for our marketplace. For over a decade, Artsy has been at the forefront of shifting buyer and seller psychology to adopt the online space, in particular since the pandemic.”
Julie Mehretu (b. 1970, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) is an American contemporary visual artist, known for her multi-layered paintings of abstracted landscapes on a large scale. Her paintings, drawings, and prints depict the cumulative effects of urban sociopolitical changes.


Photo Credit: Tom Powel Imaging