NEW YORK—Still affordable but rising in price, the paintings of Amer Kobaslija (b. 1975) first generated interest in New York, “then nationally,” and are now attracting international buyers, Manhattan gallery owner George Adams told ARTnewsletter.
Adams says that at a 2006 art fair in Paris, French dealer Eric Rodrigue, owner of Galerie RX, Paris, bought a Kobaslija painting at the booth of the George Adams Gallery, then gave the artist a show at his own gallery in December.
The French response to the December 2006 exhibit of Kobaslija’s work was also “very favorable,” reports Galerie RX spokeswoman Charlotte La Foret, who told ARTnewsletter that three of six works on offer had been sold.
The George Adams Gallery, which began representing Kobaslija in 2006, held two exhibitions that year: one of the artist’s smaller works (8-by-13 inches and 40-by-50 inches) from March 1-April 29; and a second of large-scale pieces (up to 6-by-12 feet) from June 20-Aug. 18. A third show is planned for May.
Prices for Kobaslija’s works are based largely on size, starting at $4,500/5,000 and topping off at $35,000. “There were quite a number of works sold from those first two shows,” Adams reports, noting that the increased attention garnered several favorable reviews in The New York Times and elsewhere.
Some of the Bosnian-born Kobaslija’s highly realistic paintings portray, for instance, the small, cramped studio in which an artist—or, perhaps, a fine art student—works, as seen from above. Kobaslija earned a B.F.A. degree at the Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota Fla., in 2003 and an M.F.A. from Montclair State University in 2005.
Adams suggests that the cramped spaces depicted by the artist are metaphors for a chaotic state of mind—perhaps referencing the artist’s experience of Bosnia, which he left in the mid-1990s, only to become separated from his parents for ten years. He spent two years in Europe and eventually moved to the U.S. No secondary market has yet developed for Kobaslija, Adams says.