AO Auction Results – London: Phillips 20th Century and Contemporary Evening Sale, June 29th, 2017

June 29th, 2017

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (682-4) (1988) final price £2,389,000, via Phillips
Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (682-4) (1988) Final Price: £2,389,000, via Phillips

Marking the final night of auctions before the market’s slow summer months, Phillips Auctions in London capped a buoyant sale that served as an emphatic close to two weeks of sales in the British capital.  Moving gradually through a 31-lot sale with slow, steady bidding, many works hung on the auction block for some time, coaxed up to estimate or beyond, with only 3 works going unsold, ultimately bringing the evening to a close on a figure of £24,373,000.

Mark Bradford, Drag Her to the Path (2011) Final Price£2,277,000, via Phillips
Mark Bradford, Drag Her to the Path (2011) Final Price: £2,277,000, via Phillips

The sale opened with a Thomas Schütte work from 1995, a piece which shot quickly to its estimate and sold, bringing a final price of £389,000, followed by a Wolfgang Tillmans piece from the artist’s recently popular Freischwimmer series, which blew past estimate to reach a new auction record for the artist at £605,000.  The sale cracked the £1 million threshold two lots later, as a Keith Haring enamel on sheet metal nearly doubled estimate on strong bidding to a final of £2,333,000, followed by a Rudolf Stingel piece that underperformed, selling at low estimate for £1,565,000, and a Gerhard Richter piece that met estimate easily for £2,389,000.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Freischwimmer #84  (2004). Final Price: £605,000, via Phillips
Wolfgang Tillmans, Freischwimmer #84  (2004). Final Price: £605,000, via Phillips

The sale threatened to lose momentum at lot 12, when a Mark Bradford stalled below estimate, but an intrepid phone bidder kicked the lot back into motion, and bids took the work the rest of the way to a final of £2,277,000, within estimate.  The sale continued through its progression with an Albert Oehlen computer painting, swirling with bands of color, which finished at £2,165,000, and an iconic Pistoletto mirrored piece, which came to a final of £1,325,000 before a César work was the first pass of the evening.  A Joe Bradley also passed at lot 29, bringing the sale to its conclusion.

Rudolf Stingel, Untitled (2007), Final Price£1,565,000, via Phillips
Rudolf Stingel, Untitled (2007), Final Price: £1,565,000, via Phillips

The sale is the last for London’s auction week, closing out the first half of 2017 with results that hint at an increasingly strong secondary market after a year of uncertainty and volatility, and a perceived sense increased stability of the past week’s sales should promise an interesting fall market season when sales re-commence.

Keith Haring, Untitled (1984), Final Price£2,333,000, via Phillips
Keith Haring, Untitled (1984), Final Price: £2,333,000, via Phillips

— D. Creahan

Read more:
Phillips 20th Century and Contemporary Evening Sale [Phillips]