Who Wants a Free Barney Rosset Mural?

A mural by the late publisher and artist Barney Rosset has been put on the market. The 12 by 22 foot painting is being given away for free to anyone who is prepared to remove it from the wall on which it was painted, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

Rosset was better known as a publisher than a painter. Grove Press, the publishing house he founded, fostered and published writers such as Samuel Beckett, D.H. Lawrence, and Henry Miller. His first wife Joan Mitchell was a leading abstract expressionist.

In 2010, two years before his death in February 2012 at the age of 89, Rosset started painting the colorful semi-biographical mural in question on the wall of his living room in the loft he shared with his wife Astrid.

“Barney had a kind of restlessness, a need to be doing,” Ms. Rosset told the paper, describing her deceased husband. “He would stand in front of that wall for hours.”

Now 83, Ms. Rosset is in the process of relocating full time to her home in East Hampton. She can’t fit the mural in that home due to its vast size. The East Village building in which the couple’s rented loft is located is now for sale, and she is looking for a new home for the artwork. While the prospect of the destruction of the mural has generated some market interest, Ms. Rosset has thus far been unable to find a taker.

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