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Installation view of "Mary Heilmann: To Be Someone" at the Orange County Museum of Art
Photo by Christopher Bliss Photography
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Emerging, After All These Years
by Jerry Saltz



One of the good things about the supposedly evil art boom -- setting aside for the moment the notion that it may be destabilizing right now -- is that under-known mid-career artists are getting second chances at recognition. In November, Mary Heilmann, who is 67 and whose work has always been respected but never A-listed, scored the covers of Artforum and Art in America simultaneously. Today, she’s the subject of a traveling retrospective, selling paintings for upwards of $200,000. Amy Sillman, 52, made the cover of Artforum last February, and her prices have reached $85,000. After decades of neglect, Marilyn Minter, now 59, not only ended up in the last Whitney Biennial; her work was featured on the cover of that show’s catalogue, and her paintings now sell for more than $130,000. Recent seasons have seen the reemergence of Robert Bechtle, Olivier Mosset and Michael Smith, all of whom, along with Heilmann, will be in this spring’s Whitney Biennial.

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