Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Studio and Residence of Artist Jennifer Bartlett

SELLER: Jennifer Bartlett
LOCATION: Charles Street, New York City
PRICE: $17,900,000
SIZE: 12,800 square feet (approx.), 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Extremely versatile interior features 50' living/dining room with fireplace opening onto huge terrace, chef's kitchen, spacious library with fireplace and up to 5 bedrooms. Upstairs, enclosed lap pool, with fireplace and Hudson River view, opens onto lavish rooftop gardens where flowering plants abound...Linked by charming exterior stair to the lower deck adjacent to the glass-walled living space where trees and shrubs surround dining terrace and koi pond.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Clearly, not all artists are starving. Case in point, the mammoth New York City home and studio of accomplished American born painter Jennifer Bartlett. Located in the far West Village and just a short walk to the newly refurbished and gorgeous Hudson River Park, the 12,800+- square foot space was once a warehouse that was converted into a sprawling complex that only a rich and successful artist can truly appreciate, or afford.

While we are aware of Miz Bartlett's work–sorry, we're not a huge fan–we're not privy to any scandalicious information about her private life, so we're just going to have to stick to a few of the simple facts we were able to obtain from a very brief and admittedly shabby online search.

Miz Bartlett, brought up in the school of minimalism, isn't exactly a minimalist. She does, however, strictly limit the shapes, patterns and narratives in her paintings, having used themes of water and grids throughout her career. She also has an obvious fascination with the simple shapes of square and triangles that are often put together to resemble houses. The paintings Your Mama are most familiar with are from the mid to late 1990s, where small objects float on the canvas under and intertwined with a complex grid of painted streaks. Complex, layered and interesting to look at, we'd be lying through our teeth if we said we understood them.

Anyhoo, enough of that art stuff, let's get to the real estate. According to listing information, the building has a long history of artistic use and ownership. The building was the former residence and art gallery of noted art collector Walter P. Chrysler Junior. Yes children, Mister Chrysler is from the Chrysler family, but somehow Your Mama doubts he parked a K-Car out front of his building.

Property records indicate that Miz Bartlett purchased this building in December of 1989, not long after the death of Mister Chrysler. If Your Mama is being honest with the children, we'd tell you that we have been unable sort out the actual purchase price of the property among the myriad of documents associated with the property. Another mystery we uncovered is that it appears from the mortgage information we accessed that Doris Saatchi, the first wife of art tycoon Charles Saatchi, might have co-signed the original mortgage for the property. Which would make a certain amount of sense. The Saatchis were well known patrons of Miz Bartlett in the 1980s who collected and commissioned several works by the artist.

According to listing information, Miz Bartlett embarked on a massive renovation that was completed in 1992. In addition to carving out a massive studio and office complex on the lower two floors, she created a loft-like residence on the upper two floors that spills out onto massive terraces that have been extensively and lushly landscaped.

By far the most interesting and unusual feature is, of course, the indoor lap pool that has somehow, in an impressive feat of engineering, been put up on the top floor of the building. Now puppies, while Your Mama thinks it would be magnificent to have a private swimming pool right in the heart of Manhattan where we could paddle in the nood, we are certain we would develop an addiction to Xanax if we lived in this house., because we would surely require a big fat pill every night in order ease the extreme anxiety about the possibility of the swimming pool crashing down on us as we slept in the bedroom below.

Overall, we're very impressed with the serene and comfortable looking interior appointments of the building, although we'd have to change out the really awful floor tile in the kitchen A.S.A.P.

But children, it's not even the expansive interior spaces that make this place worth the humongous asking price. It is the 2,500+- square foot of outdoor space which has Your Mama swooning with envy and pulling out the checkbook. Naturally Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would have to hire a small army of good looking and shirtless landscapers to keep all that foliage from wilting and getting choked by weeds, but it would be worth it to be able to sit under that arbor reading the tabs and working the crossword puzzles over morning coffee.

In addition to this big house and studio in New York City, we read that the painter also maintains a residence in Paris where it's easier to spend time with her French film star husband. We spent about one minute looking for the name of her famous in France husband, but alas, came up empty handed...any of you arty farty types out there know to whom Miz Bartlett is married?

Sources: Art Net, Art Scene

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