Marking the first of a trio of sales this weekend in London, Phillips Auction House made a strong opening note on a bustling week of sales last night, pulling interested buyers to its Berkeley Square location for a 43-lot offering that saw strong results and a £25,877,250 final on the night, with only 3 works on offer going unsold.
The sale opened with a string of underpriced lots that surged beyond initial estimates, often doubling or tripling their price, among them pieces by Simone Leigh (£175,000), Nathaniel Mary Quinn (£212,500) and Tschabalala Self (£275,000). A George Condo work also performed well at £471,000, before the first pass of the evening on a Mark Grotjahn Butterfly. The sale regained its composure quickly, however, as the sale’s prized Mark Bradford finished at £1,935,000, followed close behind by a Hurvin Anderson piece that sold for the final price of £2,175,000.
The sale continued at a brisk pace over the next lots, bringing up the evening’s cover lot, an Alex Katz painting that sold quickly over estimate to the tune of £3,375,000, while a Rudolf Stingel held its ground in the next lot at £1,035,000. Momentum carried the works through the meat of the auction, with a KAWS sculpture finishing above estimate for a final price of £1,455,000, and a Thomas Schütte work, Maschine, settling at the final of £1,215,000, squarely within estimated range. A Gerhard Richter Abstraktes Bild also performed well in the following lot, closing above estimate at £1,695,000. The sale was systematic from this point on, works selling quickly to bring the sale cruising to a strong conclusion.
The next auction is this evening at Sotheby’s.
— D. Creahan
Phillips 20th Century and Contemporary Evening Sale [Auction Page]