New York City.- Phillips de Pury & Company is pleased to announce highlights from its New York Contemporary Art Auctions. “Under the Influence”, starts off the activities at 12 noon on March 8th at 450 Park Avenue, New York. More than 300 lots range from a pre-sale low estimate of $2,000 to a high estimate of $60,000. Amongst the artists included in the afternoon sale are Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, George Condo, Raymond Pettibon, Keith Harring, Sean Landers, Tony Oursler and Vik Muniz. Viewing will take place from February 25th through March 7th.
The Evening auction will take place from 7pm, and comprises 37 lots with a pre-sale low estimate of $4,720,000 and a high estimate of $6,900,000. Viewing will take place from February 25th through March 8th. The sale will feature highlights from Dan Colen, Tauba Auerbach, Cindy Sherman, Damien Hirst and Steven Parrino. The auction will also showcase works from major movements from the last 50 years, from the pop art of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol through to the minimalism of Donald Judd and Dan Flavin, alongside blue-chip artists who came to prominence in the 80s: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anselm Kiefer, Richard Prince and Takashi Murakami.
Highlights of the auction will include Dan Colen’s “The son of a white man (Air force pilot / plantation owner)”, 2010, estimated at $100,000-150,000. Drawing from mass media, environmental experience and sub-cultural language, Dan Colen’s work infuses a sense of magic in the prosaic and ordinary. In the present lot, a canvas is coated, plastered, smeared, and overlaid with chewing gum. The once pristine surface is fictionally transplanted to the urban landscape of a metropolitan city. It immediately conjures images of the teenage ritual of smearing gum on the surfaces of municipal buildings, street signs, and benches. But unlike the haphazard and random design of this adolescent rebellion, the gum is stretched across the surface in beautiful arches of monochromatic tones. The overlapping blacks, criss-crossing whites, and entwined grays, rhythmically dance across the picture plane with the fluidity and vitality of Pollock’s drip paintings. Instead of paying homage to the Abstract Expressionist painter’s rich oils, Colen has instead replaced the traditional medium with that of a disposable and chewable substance. Tauba Auerbach’s “Binary Lowercase”, 2006, estimated at $40,000-60,000. Tauba Auerbach’s suspiciously simple compositions explore both the freedoms and limitations of Semiotics through a visual word-play on palindromes, anagrams, ligatures, and other abstract sequences. Her work ranges from an idiomatically familiar study of phonetics to the obscure and esoteric origins of human communication. While her designs and explorations are clean, pure, and simple, they are woven with complexities and intricacies that are deeply rooted in Fluxus and Constructivist utility. Behind the razorsharp lines of her designs lies a language that both abides and challenges our laws of linguistics. The marriage of language and the visual in the present lot, converts arbitrary marks into a moment of conceptual awakening.
Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled #426” from 2004 has an extimate of $300,000-500,000. Starting with her Untitled Film Stills in the 1970s, through her latest series of Clowns, Cindy Sherman has assumed a dual role: that of artist and of performer. In this latest series, she explores and discovers the masquerade of a multi-faceted character – the clown. In this series of clowns, as seen in her early black and white Untitled Film Stills, Sherman carefully manipulates pose, gesture, costume, makeup, lighting, and composition to create portraits of both the real and the imagined. By using digital image processing technology, Sherman is able to manipulate and dictate precisely how the final image should stand. She is able to multiply herself and stage herself as a group of persons, or in the case of the present lot, Untitled # 426, 2004, create a backdrop of vibrant and intense Technicolor. With each series, Sherman repeatedly finds new contemporary forms of representation and consistently advances the topics and subjects which have connected her work through its four decade span. Damien Hirst’s “Sulfochlorophenol”, 2007, estimated at $700,000-1,000,000. Damien Hirst’s “spot paintings”—a form he has returned to on many occasions in the past twenty-five years—gleam as exemplary stalwarts of his internationally recognized oeuvre. Their omnipresence in the art world is topped only by their transcendence into the world of commercial art, advertising, and beyond; they walk the razor sharp line between renowned examples of the contemporary art market and universal symbols of the enduring value of modern painting. The present lot, Sulfochlorophenol, 2007, contains all of the quintessential elements of Hirst’s famed series—chromatic beauty, patterned regularity, and considerable size. Yet it also assumes many of the conceptual paradoxes that make Hirst’s body of work a study in depth and meaning. It is at once a celebration—of the simplicity of color, of the miracles of medical science, and of the power of painting in an age that is futuristic in its media. Yet it is also revelatory in its sinister underpinnings—in the deeper complexities of its subject, in its visual illusions, and in its reflection on society’s medicinal dependence.
Phillips was founded in London in 1796 by Harry Phillips, formerly senior clerk to James Christie. During his first year of business, Phillips conducted twelve successful auctions and soon the business was holding sales for some of the most distinguished collectors of the day including Marie Antoinette, Beau Brummel and Napoleon Bonaparte. To win business, Phillips combined business acumen with a flair for showmanship, introducing new ways to promote his sales such as elaborate evening receptions before auctions – an essential part of the auction business today. Phillips quickly gained the confidence of British society and remains the only auction house ever to have held a sale inside Buckingham Palace. When he died in 1840, Harry Phillips’ son, William Augustus, inherited a strong and successful legacy and business. In 1879, William changed the firm’s name to Messrs Phillips & Son. In1882, William brought his son-in-law, Frederick Neale into the business, the company was renamed again as Phillips, Son & Neale. This name remained through the 1970s, when the company became Phillips. The company had a reputation for strong regional salerooms dotted throughout The British Isles, selling everything from furniture to art and estates. In 1999, the company was bought by Bernard Arnault, the chairman of the French luxury-goods brand, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH). Shortly after the transaction, Mr. Arnault merged with the esteemed private art dealers, Simon de Pury and Daniela Luxembourg who were operating the Impressionist and Modern art gallery, de Pury & Luxembourg in Zurich. The new team at Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg with headquarters on East 57th street held sales in Impressionist, American and Modern works of art in addition to watches and jewelry and design. In 2002, de Pury & Luxembourg took majority control of the company and in 2003, Simon de Pury moved the headquarters to the Meatpacking District in Chelsea, which at the time was just beginning to sprout as an international art district. With a new remit to focus solely on the sale of the best works of Contemporary Art, Design, Jewelry, Photography, and Editions, Phillips de Pury & Company began business in a spectacular and spacious gallery setting on 15th Street, overlooking the celebrated Highline and The Hudson River. It is in this space today where Simon de Pury, his partners, and team of specialists are dedicated to the company’s unique approach to the auction market. In October 2008, Mercury Group, the Russian luxury retail company, acquired majority share of Phillips de Pury & Company to further enable the company’s expansion, including the opening of our flagship galleries at 450 Park Avenue. Visit the auction house’s website at … http://phillipsdepury.com