Following in the footsteps of an early evening auction at Christie’s just an hour prior, Phillips has logged a staid but consistent auction into the books for its sole evening sale of the spring auction week. The auction house’s 20th Century Sale achieved moderate success with a final tally of $46,576,000, with only 3 of the 38 lots going unsold.
Jean Dubuffet, Barbe des rites (1959), via Phillips
The sale began with a Mike Kelley Memory Ware piece from 2003, which quickly sold within estimate for a final of $641,000, followed several lots later by a Marino Marini sculpture of a Cavaliere, which saw modest bids to reach the final of $905,000. The next lot, a Jean Dubuffet piece from 1959 saw fervent bidding to reach its high estimate and beyond, hitting a final price of $3,077,000. The first of the evening’s Mark Bradford works followed shortly after, ultimately selling at the low estimate for a final of $3,525,000, while a second Bradford piece sold for a strong price of $2,965,000 , moving slowly but steadily upwards on multiple bidders.
An Albert Oehlen work met estimates several lots later for $845,000, while a Günther Förg work sold just within estimate for a final of $815,000. The next lot, by Glenn Ligon, also stalled at the low estimate, bringing a final price of $1,445,000, while an On Kawara series of paintings, titled Four Decades, also came in below the estimated hammer, ultimately reaching estimate on fees for $1,565,000. The next lot, a similarly subdued Brice Marden, reached estimate quickly, and sold for a final price of $5,989,000, while a vivid Marlene Dumas piece, Night Nurse, met estimates for a final of $2,517,000. A Yayoi Kusama piece, by contrast, performed below expectations, selling to the book below estimate for a final of $2,045,000.
A Jeff Koons piece, Naked, another of the evening’s top sales, also failed to garner exceptional interest, and sold at the low estimate for a final of $5,765,000. A Stingel composition performed above expectations, beating its high estimate for a final of $2,965,000. A vivid Jean-Michel Basquiat passed several lots later. The sale concluded on a series of subdued, procedural lots, capped by a peculiar cartoon portrait of Spongebob Squarepants by KAWS, a strange selection to cap the sale, ultimately selling at low estimate.
The sales continue tomorrow at Sotheby’s, where the auction house will launch its Impressionist and Modern sale.
Phillips 20th Century Evening Sale [Phillips]