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Phillips announces highlights from the October auctions of 20th Century & Contemporary Art in London
Salman Toor (b. 1983), Aashiana (Hearth and Home), 2012. Estimate: £30,000-50,000. 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. The Evening Sale will open with a front run of sought-after names, including Emily Mae Smith, Salman Toor, Titus Kaphar, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe and Portia Zvavahera. German artists will form a focal point, alongside works by major figures from the 1980s, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol. Comprising 40 lots, the Evening Sale will take place via livestream to bidders worldwide on 20 October at 5pm and will be followed by the Day Sale on 21 October at 2pm.

Highlights will go on view at Phillips Berkeley Square during Frieze Week from 5 to 9 October, followed by a full-scale preview exhibition from 14 to 20 October. In addition, the sale will be presented via an enriched digital experience on Phillips.com, including augmented multimedia content, enhanced visuals, and art historical and market analysis that will allow for deep viewer engagement. The live auctions on 20 and 21 October will be streamed from the purpose-built saleroom in London, with multiple camera angles broadcasting the live auction experience to collectors and viewers around the world.

German Masters
Included in the Evening Sale is a selection of works by German artists starring the leading highlight of the sale, a masterwork by Georg Baselitz. Painted in his landmark year 1982, Das letzte Selbstbildnis I (The last self-portrait I) is an exceptional large-scale canvas coming directly from the Collection of Marcel Brient, Paris, where it has been for 20 years. Another work by Baselitz to feature in the sale is Kopf an Kopf II, painted in 1989 (estimate: £600,000-800,000).

Other notable highlights in this selection include a 2003 c-print by Wolfgang Tillmans titled Freischwimmer 27 (estimate: £210,000-300,000), and two Albert Oehlen works, Die Veränderungen executed in 2005 (estimate: £700,000-900,000), and Control executed in 2007 (estimate: £400,000-600,000).

Artistic Icons of the 1980s
Rising over a metre in height and standing out from the rest of Haring’s artistic output is Untitled (Grace Jones Mask), a mask created in 1987 as part of a series of eight. Referencing the iconic Jamaican model, actress and singer Grace Jones, the present mask is a rare artefact cementing the two creatives’ visionary friendship. Their first artistic encounter in 1984 was orchestrated by Andy Warhol and immortalised by Robert Mapplethorpe, and Haring continued to be inspired by Jones’s charisma and collaborated with her on a number of body painting sessions throughout the 80’s. Untitled (Grace Jones Mask) comes from a group of three works being sold to benefit The Bedari Foundation, also including Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Back of the Neck, 1982 (estimate: £450,000-650,000), and George Condo’s The Age of Reason, 2010 (estimate: £2,000,000-3,000,000). The Bedari Foundation works with partners to catalyse research, education and cutting-edge solutions to global challenges in mental health, environmental conservation and energy transition.

Created in Basquiat’s milestone year of 1982, Untitled (Pestus) encapsulates the three themes overarching his artistic intention – ‘royalty, heroism, and the streets’. Untitled (Pestus) combines a number of Basquiat’s most revered tropes, including the all-cap lettering, his three-pointed crown, the visual and written reference to ‘low-income housing’, and the copyright symbol, which humorously posited as a claim to ownership for all the words and ideas he repeatedly used throughout his oeuvre.




Contemporary Voices
“This sale has been purposefully assembled to reflect current international collecting trends,” said Kate Bryan, Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale. “We are incredibly excited to mark the auction debut for Salman Toor, an artist who is currently the subject of significant critical and institutional praise ahead of his major solo show at the Whitney, and to draw attention to a broad selection of works by Emily Mae Smith, Titus Kaphar, Dana Schutz, Banksy and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, among many others.”

Painted the same year Donald Trump assumed office as President of the United States, Trump Descending an Escalator motions back to the decisive instant that presaged the politician’s meteoric rise to power. The painting received significant, exuberant coverage when it was displayed in Petzel Gallery’s memorable We Need to Talk show in 2017, alongside other works meditating on America’s transformed political climate. The composition’s title humorously refers to Marcel Duchamp’s seminal Nude Descending a Staircase. Dana Schutz is currently having her first-ever solo exhibition in London at Thomas Dane Gallery.

Further highlights include Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s Luminary, executed in 2011 just two years before the artist’s Turner Prize nomination. Luminary exemplifies the unique style of portraiture that Yiadom-Boakye adopted early in her career, and that quickly established her as a household name in the United Kingdom. Signalling the painter’s cemented significance within the painterly canon and her influence on artists tackling the medium today, a major retrospective of her work will take place at Tate Britain from November 2020 to May 2021.

Coming to auction for the first time is the work of Pakistani-born artist Salman Toor, who is due to have an extensive solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York next year. Aashiana (Hearth and Home), 2012 is emblematic of his exploration of subjects of intimacy and togetherness, specifically in the imagined lives of young, queer Brown men residing between the city of New York and South Asia.

Further to Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe’s auction debut in Phillips’ New York Evening Sale of July 2020, when Shade of Black achieved a staggering $250,000 against an estimate of $20,000-30,000, the October Evening Sale will offer Black Stripes on White, 2019. Quaicoe’s paintings are influenced by hand-painted Ghanaian film posters from the 1980s and 1990s. Another contemporary name of note is Nicolas Party, whose stunning landscape Rocks, 2014 will be offered (estimate: £400,000-600,000).

Further Highlights
Further highlights include Alberto Giacometti’s Femme debout, conceived circa 1961 and cast in bronze in 1993, and Rudolf Stingel’s Untitled, 2011. Following the world auction record Phillips set for Alex Katz in October last year, when Blue Umbrella I sold for over £3 million, the Evening Sale will present Ada with Mirror, 1969. Another portrait of Katz’s celebrated model, his wife Ada, this painting employs his characteristic approach to figuration.

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale
London Auction 21 October 2020

The Day Sale on 21 October includes a broad spectrum of well-known contemporary artists such as Nicolas Party, Jordan Wolfson and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Leading the Sale is a group of five Alexander Calder sculptures which come to auction this October from an Important Private Collection in Paris. These five works are demonstrative of the artist’s two quintessential sculptural expressions: the stabile and the mobile. A poetic meditation on the use of colour, balance, and space, these sculptures animate the space they occupy and challenge the sculptural medium’s conventional methods of static presentation. Executed between 1954 and 1975, these sculptures took form at a pivotal time in Calder’s career as the artist was gaining increasing critical attention.










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