Kerry James Marshall painting auctioned for record $21.1M

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A painting by local artist Kerry James Marshall has been sold by Chicago's Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority for $21.1 million. (WLS)

A painting by local artist Kerry James Marshall has been sold by Chicago's Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority for $21.1 million.

The price paid Wednesday in an auction at Sotheby's New York set a record for a work by the African-American artist. A Sotheby's spokesman says four bidders competed for the work, driving the selling price beyond the estimate of $12 million.

"Past Times" had for years been displayed in the South building of McCormick Place where a replica now hangs. The real painting was purchased in 1997 for $25,000.

Marshall, a resident of Chicago, is known for his depictions of African-American life.

"Past Times" is a pastoral scene with black figures picnicking, listening to music and golfing along the shores of a lake on which is a water skier and motorboat.

The artist currently has a massive new mural displayed on the side of the Chicago Cultural Center. "RUSH MORE" features 20 women's faces carved into trees, including Oprah and Gwendolyn Brooks.

WLS-TV contributed to this report.
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