Phillips announces highlights from the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Frieze week auctions

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Phillips announces highlights from the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Frieze week auctions
Mark Bradford, Value 35, signed with the artist’s initial, titled and dated ‘Value 35 2010 M’ on the reverse, billboard paper, paper collage, acrylic gel medium, carbon paper, nylon string and mixed media on canvas, 122 x 152.6 cm. 48 x 60 1/8 in. Executed in 2009-10. Estimate: £1,500,000-2,000,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.

LONDON.- Phillips brings together a rich diversity of contemporary artists during its London sales of 20th Century & Contemporary Art this October. In tandem with Frieze Week, the Evening Sale will open with a front run of highly sought-after names, including Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Simone Leigh, and Derek Fordjour. Female portraiture will also form a focal point, alongside key works by major figures, including Hurvin Anderson, Mark Bradford, and Rudolf Stingel. Comprising 43 lots, the Evening Sale will take place at 5pm on 4 October, and will be preceded by the Day Sale at 2pm on 3 October.

“This season, in celebration of Frieze Week, we have focused on bringing those artists of the moment to the fore, positioning them alongside our consistent offering of works by blue-chip contemporary names,” said Olivia Thornton, Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Europe. “We are incredibly excited to draw attention to the work of Simone Leigh, an artist who is currently the subject of great critical, curatorial and commercial attention.”

The Evening Sale presents Hurvin Anderson’s Beaver Lake, painted at the dawn of his artistic practice in 1998. Capturing Anderson’s investigations into colour, shape and form, whilst exploring cultural and socially charged spaces, Beaver Lake draws from a clear photographic foundation, offering a loose pictorial take on the Albertan lake that Anderson’s sister visited when she emigrated to Canada from the United Kingdom. Anderson’s thematic proclivity, based on his belief that many first and second generation migrants feel permanently displaced, was visually informed by his professor Peter Doig’s fascination with geographic dislocation, as well as his tendency to employ the visual materialisation of memory.

Hailing from a Los Angeles Collection is Mark Bradford’sValue 35, 2010.Value 35 is exemplary of Bradford’s refined technique of décollage, whereby he collates textured layers of billboard paper and detritus salvaged from the streets of Los Angeles. Linking his work both conceptually and physically to Los Angeles, Bradford reflects on the history, social structures and lived experiences of his urban environment. Phillips currently hold the top two auction prices for Bradford’s work, having sold Helter Skelter I, 2007 in March 2018 and its companion piece Helter Skelter II, 2007 in May 2019.

Also included in the Los Angeles Collection are works by Joe Bradley, George Condo, Takashi Murakami, and Rudolf Stingel.

Presented to the market at a moment of marked celebration of Simone Leigh’s work, Shower Cap, 2013, encapsulates Leigh’s artistic practice, whereby ordinary materials transform into arresting sculptures in her exploration of black female subjectivity. Leigh first rose to the public’s attention in 2016, on the occasion of her important solo exhibition at the New Museum, New York, immediately followed by her solo show at The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Earlier this year, Leigh was given a show at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, on the heels of her reception of the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize in 2018, as well as her New York High Line installation entitled Brick House – in place since June 2019.

Other works celebrating female portraiture include Tschabala Self’s Florida, 2015, and Alex Katz’s Blue Umbrella I, 1972. Blue Umbrella I presents a portrait of Katz’s celebrated model, his wife Ada. The first iteration from a series of two, this painting employs Katz’s characteristic approach to figuration as well as depicting his recurrent muse Ada, turning her repeated appearance into an icon of 20th century portraiture.

Building on the historic sale of Luc Tuymans’ Schwarzheide, 1986 at Phillips London in June, which sold for £1,215,000, this season Phillips will offer The Exorcist, 2007. An emblematic expression of the artist’s preoccupation with storytelling and cinema, The Exorcist has been in the same private collection ever since it was included in Les Revenants – Tuymans’ solo exhibition at Zeno X Gallery in Antwerp, 2007. The Exorcist draws its core image from the eponymous movie directed by William Friedkin in 1973, in which a young girl becomes inhabited by evil forces; here, Tuymans mimics the film’s imagery with a form of pictorial austerity that is reminiscent of El Greco’s theatrical treatment of light.

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day sale
One of the leading highlights of the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale is Peter Doig’s House of Pictures, 2002-03. The present work depicts a dazzling flame of orange hair, distinctive of the woman featured in other works from the House of Picture series. Further highlights include Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild, 1981, Sean Scully’s Raval, 2013, and Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Still #62, photographed in 1977 and printed in 2003, who has recently had a solo show at the National Portrait Gallery, London (estimate: £250,000-350,000).

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