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Sylvia Plimack Mangold (American, b.1938)


Also known as:  Mangold, Sylvia


Sylvia Plimack Mangold is an American painter whose work in photo-realism and abstractionism has brought her wide acclaim -- both in the US and abroad. Born in New York, Mangold was educated at Yale University, studying under William Bailey. Her early work was decidedly abstract, but since the 1970s has moved closer to photorealism, eventually settling on the term “perceptual realism.”

Mangold received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1975 and has exhibited in many fine institutions and collections. Her work appears at the MoMA, New York Public Library, The British Museum of London, and Minneapolis Institute of Art and countless others around the globe. While her paintings have moved away from the abstract, her use of pastel oils creates an almost dreamlike quality at times. It must be said that Mangold’s work - especially how she uses light - is both intuitive and highly technical, creating magic from otherwise mundane scenes of landscape and interior. Bold, yet refined, a Mangold piece is always a conversation starter. 

What type of art does Sylvia Plimack Mangold Create?

Sylvia Plimack Mangold is a painter and printmaker best known for her pastelist landscapes and interiors. Her distinctive style developed after working at Yale with William Bailey where she shifted from abstract to photo-realism, giving her paintings extremely vivid, vibrant and striking colors. Her work often features spectral trails, phantom tree limbs, and dark vistas. 

How often do Syliva Plimack Mangold paintings come up for auction?

Sylvia Plimack Mangold’s paintings are rare. Only a few come up for auction each year and those that do typically exceed the estimated range for her work. That being said, a Sylvia Plimack Mangold painting is usually in a fairly reasonable price range and as such represents a good investment -- especially for the beginner collector. 

How much is a Sylvia Plimack Mangold painting worth?

A Sylvia Plimack Mangold painting is typically sold for between fifteen and thirty thousand dollars, though there are outliers on either end of that spectrum. Many of her paintings have exceeded the initial estimates. One, 22 ½ inches of Floorboard (1974) sold for over twice the high estimate in 2017. It represents a general trend that shows Mangold work on the rise in recent years. 

Which Sylvia Plimack Mangold painting is the most valuable? 

The most valuable Syliva Plimack Mangold painting is FLOOR WITH LIGHT AT 10:30 AM (1972). It was sold at auction in 2018 for $125,000, beating its estimates by almost three times the number ($40,000). It has many hallmarks of a traditional Mangold work. Featuring light growing across a series of wooden boards, it’s both hyper-realistic and yet still somehow abstractly evocative. 

What are the most famous paintings by Syliva Plimack Mangold? 

Sylvia Plimack Mangold’s most famous work is still FLOOR WITH LIGHT AT 10:30 AM (1972). That said, she has produced many paintings of note throughout her career. Her pastels, watercolors, and oil work has been exhibited in The Elm Tree, October 1, 1990 (1990), 22 ½ inches of FloorBoard (1974), and CONTOUR (1980). 

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