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Lot No. 8
Lonnie Holley


  • NYC Benefit Auction 2017

  • Tribeca Rooftop

Mother Teaching the Children, 2014
Paint, marker, spray paint on paper
22” x 30” (approx.)

Atlanta artist Lonnie Holley’s works are built of found objects that function as three-dimensional sketches for ideas and stories, influencing the improvised songs he writes. He firmly believes that artists are political advocates, stating: “I am not doing anything but still ringing that Liberty Bell, ding, ding, ding, on the shorelines of independence…” (New York Times Magazine, January 23, 2014). The work available for the auction was created during Holley’s residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida.

Holley’s works are now on view at MASS MoCA in the exhibition Thumbs Up For the Mothership with Dawn DeDeaux, as part of MASS MoCA’s presentation with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Lonnie Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity since 1979. His art and music — born out of struggle and hardship, but perhaps more importantly out of furious curiosity and biological necessity — have manifested themselves in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. In 2012, Holley made his debut as a recording artist with Just Before Music (Dust to Digital), followed in 2013 with Keeping a Record of It. Holley’s music and lyrics are improvised and evolve with every event, concert, and recording. His work has been shown at the Whitney Museum, New York; The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York; and Prospect 2: New Orleans; and in collections of The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington DC; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; High Art Museum, Atlanta; and American Museum of Folk Art, New York. Holley is represented by the James Fuentes Gallery, New York.

Courtesy of the artist and David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen
Estimated value: $4,000

The November 7 live auction will be conducted by Eric Widing, Deputy Chairman, Christie’s Americas. All net proceeds from the auction support MASS MoCA. To place an absentee bid, fill out this form, and email it to Emily Daunis at edaunis@massmoca.org by 4pm on November 7.