Led by $10.8 M. Lichtenstein, Phillips Earns Solid $68 M. in Contemporary Art Sale

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Sold: $8.01 million | David Hammons, Untitled, 2000

After an uneven pair of Impressionist and modern sales last week in New York, at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, Phillips kicked off this week’s postwar and contemporary sales with an auction tonight at its East 57th Street headquarters that brought in $68 million, with 35 of 40 lots; a solid 88 percent of the artworks found buyers. That total, which includes buyer’s premiums of between 12 percent and 25 percent depending on the price of the lot, was just good enough to edge into the sale’s $65.1 million to $97.4 million estimate, which is calculated sans premium, but was a modest drop from Phillips’s $79.9 million haul at the same auction last November, when it was still known as Phillips de Pury & Company. Read More


Lucien Smith Senior Thesis Work Leads Phillips Evening Sale


The 24-year-old Lucien Smith has been hot of late, with recent solo shows at Salon 94 and The Suzanne Geiss Company, so maybe it shouldn’t surprise that the upcoming contemporary art sale at Phillips is opening with one of his paintings. Still, it’s pretty remarkable that the lot is a work he made as a student: Hobbes, The Rain Man, and My Friend Barney / Under the Sycamore Tree (2011), which first appeared in Mr. Smith’s 2011 senior thesis show at Cooper Union, “Imagined Nostalgia.” The painting, which is estimated to sell for $100,000 to $150,000, will hit the block on Nov. 11, almost exactly a year after Mr. Smith’s first New York solo show at Half Gallery. Read More

Kenny Schachter

Previewing the London Auctions With Kenny Schachter

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Sotheby's has two Wool lots as well, estimated at £700,000–£900,000 ($1,118,740 - $1,438,380) and £200,000 - £300,000  ($319,640 - $479,460)

Presented here is a selection of slides from Observer contributor Kenny Schachter’s recent lecture at the University of Zurich, “X-Rated: Art of Pricing, Fall 2013.” Taken together, they serve as a mini preview of the upcoming London auctions. All caption information pertains to the postwar and contemporary art evening sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Read More

auction woes

Christie’s, Philips Withdraw ‘Suspicious’ Works From Latin American Sales

Untitled (1957), a painting attributed to Ivan Serpa that was one of ten works withdrawn from the Christie's sale. (Courtesy The Art Newspaper)

Within a week of one another, Christie’s and Phillips pulled works from their Latin American sales after doubts were cast on their provenance and authenticity, The Art Newspaper reports. Christie’s withdrew 10 pieces by Brazilian artists from its sale (which took place on May 29 and 30) after various outside authorities on the artists’ estates expressed concern about the legitimacy of the works, which all stemmed from the Rio de Janeiro-based collection of Ralph Santos Oliveira. According to Mr. Santos Oliviera, he was selling on behalf of his grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and cannot remember where she purchased the pieces in question. Phillips removed a work by Alfredo Volpi from its Latin American sale on May 23. Read More

auction houses

Phillips, Sans Simon: What’s Next for Simon de Pury and Phillips Now That They’ve Parted Ways?

Chanel Hosts a Beachside BBQ for

Two Fridays ago, just before the art world split for the holiday break, news broke that has had even market insiders, in vacation spots from St. Moritz to St. Barts to Aspen, scratching their heads: Simon de Pury, who has been very much the public face of the Phillips de Pury & Co. auction house for the past 12 years as chairman and head auctioneer, was parting ways with the company, effective immediately. Mercury, the Russian luxury goods firm that bought a majority stake in the company in late 2008, had acquired Mr. de Pury’s remaining shares, a press release announced. In January, the 200-plus-year-old company’s name will go back to Phillips. An e-mail sent to art world colleagues by Mr. de Pury’s wife, Michaela Neumeister, a specialist at Phillips for 12 years, indicated that she, too, was departing. Read More


Sturtevant and Eight Others Nab Artist Records at Phillips

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Roy Lichtenstein, Crying Girl, 1963

It’s raining artist records over there at Phillips de Pury & Company.

The auction house just sent over word that nine artists–Richard Serra, Rob Pruitt, Adam McEwen, Nate Lowman, Hans Peter Feldmann, Haegue Yang, Elaine Sturtevant, Jack Goldstein and Wang Shugang–earned new artist records in its two days of contemporary art sales. Read More