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

14 comments:

Tracey said...

Interesting. I have seen this property on NYTimes a few weeks now. Nice background info.

Anonymous said...

I like the interior but I pass this place several times each day & the exterior is ugly - it reminds me of a low rise office building ...

Aunt Mary said...

Ooooh, Mama. Thanks for this. Where to start? Let's start with "Jennifer". I'm ashamed to admit that I have an unreasonable prejudice against the name "Jennifer". I could never believe that anyone with that name could be a serious person, let alone an accomplished person. I took a peak at her work from your link and lo, I liked it. She has overcome the burden of her name. No mean feat. But I'm tres curious how she came to be noticed by the Saatchis. Now I'm going to study this floor plan.

so_chic_darling said...

In 1989 I looked at a townhouse on Charles Street in the West Village that was priced at $330,000.00.So I would think that she paid about that,but no more than 500 grand.Let's not forget that there was a major real estate crash at that time.I would still take 92 Jane though.

Aunt Mary said...

Nice basement for rental income. The studio is large but faces south and has no apparent entry but the front door and a narrow hall. How do you move large canvases around? But as a dabbler in paint, I'm having studio envy. Well, let's go upstairs. Or rather climb that stairwell. WHERE IS THE ELEVATOR?? I'm not young any more. Let's put an elevator in this puppy. That's a nice outdoor get-away. And yes, it would require several shirtless gardners. Mama, I'm not afraid of drowning in my bed, because I have utter faith in my architect. I would actually exercise if I had a private space like this lap pool. That settles it, bring me my pocketbook.

Anonymous said...

Lovely, but bedrooms are clearly devalued in this place. I wouldn't put a bedroom in front, so near to the street, like that. However, it is probably fine for an office. I do wonder how an artist could work in all this glorious, finished space. It would seem a bit distracting.

Also, I agree that the lower level of the building would definitely serve as office rental property. Love the library, living room, gardens, views, etc.

I wish I knew this woman's work.

Aunt Mary said...

Well, don't I feel stupid! Making fun of Jennifer's name. On further investigation, it seems she's of the high echelons of the la-di-da arte monde. She doesn't need a rich husband, and her artiste credentials are pristine. But the best part of all, SHE'S OLDER THAN ME!! I don't know any mothers of that generation who named their daughters Jennifer.

pch said...

I know at least a few Jennifers who are in their 60s. The actress Jennifer Jones had a fairly high profile in the early 40s -- might have influenced some parents at the time.

Anonymous said...

this place is sooo pretty. I've been atring at it on the sotheby's int'l site for some time now ... dreaming. the back terraces are so lush. god I miss NY.

Anonymous said...

oops: 'staring'

Senor Popusa said...

My apartment in Manhattan is in the building that backs up on Jennifer's studio/residence and I have a view of her terraces from my living room. I had no idea it was an artist that lived there.

The terraces are even bigger than they appear in the pictures. Her building is only a block away from the famous Perry Street towers. I like the interior space and the terraces are wonderful but there are two tall buildings overlooking the outdoor space and the facade of the building is lacking.

The interesting facade reflected in the front windows of the apartment is a former police building that was converted to apartments. More character but no terraces alas.

Anonymous said...

mathieu carriere

Art Gallery said...

The interior of the building is really nice.
Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

As someone wrote, her husband is Matthieu Carriere, except he is a German actor, 9 years her junior. True though, he plays a lot in French movies