Phillips announces works to be sold to support The Warburg Institute
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Phillips announces works to be sold to support The Warburg Institute
Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945), Der Morgenthau-Plan (The Morgenthau Plan), 2021. Estimate: £25,000-35,000.

LONDON.- Phillips announced that it is partnering with the Warburg Institute to offer works donated by renowned contemporary artists, including Anselm Kiefer, Cornelia Parker and Edmund de Waal, as part of its 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale in London on 4 March.

The works are donated in support of the Warburg Institute in London, one of the world’s leading institutions for the study of art and culture, and the Warburg Renaissance, the architectural and intellectual transformation of the Institute.

The sales of the works will help to fund the completion of the £14.5m renovation and expansion of the Institute’s home in Bloomsbury, led by Stirling Prize-winning architect Haworth Tompkins, to create a more open and accessible building and welcome in and educate a wider audience with new and dynamic public spaces for lectures, exhibitions and digital experimentation. They will also provide funding for new programmes for exhibitions, residencies and commissions for contemporary artists, writers and thinkers. At the heart of the Institute’s new gallery will sit the porcelain-painted walls of the library of exile, Edmund de Waal’s installation, donated by the artist in 2020, which will provide a place of contemplation and dialogue about books, libraries, memory and exile.

Founded in Hamburg by the pioneering scholar Aby Warburg (1866-1929), the Warburg Institute, its scholars, books and images, were rescued from Nazi Germany and brought to London in 1933. The Warburg Institute was incorporated into the University of London in 1944 and moved into its current building in Bloomsbury in 1958. The Institute has been home to many of the world’s leading art and cultural historians, who studied, wrote and taught generations of students and helped to shape the study of art and culture, including Ernst Gombrich, the author of The Story of Art, the world’s most influential textbook about the history of art.

Many of the works to be auctioned have been personally donated by the artists in recognition of the influence that Aby Warburg and Warburg Institute have had on their own work as well as on contemporary visual culture and intellectual thought.

The auction has been led by the Warburg Charitable Trust and the Warburg Visionary Circle, a group of curatorial and creative leaders who have dedicated themselves to raising the Institute’s profile and engaging new audiences.

Highlights of the sale will include works by Anselm Kiefer, Michael Joo, Goshka Macuga, Cornelia Parker, Gerhard Richter and Edmund De Waal.

The works will be on show at 30 Berkeley Square from 26 February to 4 March.

Christopher Rossbach, Chair of The Warburg Institute Charitable Trust, said, “The Warburg Renaissance will transform the Warburg Institute by restoring its original vision and making it ready for future generations at a time when art and culture have a critical role to play for international dialogue and understanding. We hope that the works donated so generously by renowned artists will inspire collectors and supporters to contribute to the Warburg Institute and help it to achieve its mission.”

Professor Bill Sherman, Director of The Warburg Institute, said, “Our bold aim now is to open up our work and make new connections, providing new spaces and tools for using cultural memory to shape our future. We are grateful both to the artists and to Phillips for making this sale possible. It will give art and artists a central place in the future activities of Aby Warburg’s pioneering institution.”

Cheyenne Westphal, Global Chairwoman, Phillips, said, “Phillips is honoured to partner with The Warburg Institute as they embark on this ambitious project. Steeped in history, the Warburg has been a sanctuary for some of the 20th century’s most revered scholars, curators and thinkers, and it is exciting to see what mark it will make on contemporary culture now, and in the future.”

Mafalda Kahane, Chair of the Warburg Visionary Circle, said, “The Warburg Visionary Circle is proud and excited to be part of the next chapter of the Warburg Institute, building on the dialogue between Aby Warburg’s legacy and our contemporary cultural landscape.”

Artist Cornelia Parker, said, “I always think of the Warburg Institute as a perfect, quiet place to absorb culture. Having previously exhibited at the Warburg in 1999, I’m glad to be donating one of my photogravures for this auction, to support the institution and further allow others to explore their love of art history.”

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