Whitechapel Gallery: Art Icon

Whitechapel Gallery: Art Icon

Whitechapel Gallery's 2017 Art Icon Award honors the lifetime achievement of Scottish artist Peter Doig. Proudly supported by Phillips, we look ahead to this year's benefit auction and event.

Whitechapel Gallery's 2017 Art Icon Award honors the lifetime achievement of Scottish artist Peter Doig. Proudly supported by Phillips, we look ahead to this year's benefit auction and event.

Peter Doig Pelican (Stag), detail, 2003 © Courtesy the artist and Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London

The 2017 Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon with Swarovski honors the lifetime achievement of Peter Doig. Recognized as one of the greatest living figurative painters, Doig is Scottish-born, Canadian-raised and has lived and worked in Trinidad since 2002. He achieves moments of surreal tranquility in his work; and his canoes, among the most seminal motifs in his oeuvre, were inspired by his Canadian upbringing and the most memorable scene from 1980's horror classic, Friday the 13th.

On 25 January, this award will be presented to Doig during a gala dinner hosted by Nadja Swarovski and Iwona Blazwick, Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, and featuring a live benefit auction with Phillips' own Henry Highley at the podium.

Peter Doig in his New York studio, 2013. Photo courtesy Michael Werner Gallery

Among the contemporary artists who have graciously donated works are Hernan Bas, Joe Bradley and Cecily Brown. Proceeds from this year's live and silent auctions support the Whitechapel Gallery's education and community programs in London. Browse the works below and click here to bid on Artsy.net.

The Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon 2017 committee members are: Erin Bell, Maryam Eisler, Bettina von Hase, Rebecca King Lassman, Luigi Maramotti, Farshid Moussavi, Catherine Petitgas, Alice Rawsthorn, Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Maria Sukkar, Nadja Swarovski, Beth Swofford, Jonathan Tyler and Phillips' Damien Whitmore.

Phillips' participation in this event is part of our global Arts Partnerships program, continuing our commitment to supporting leading cultural institutions.

Lot 1: Cecily Brown Untitled (After Gericault), 2016. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery.

Cecily Brown was born in London in 1969, and her work features prominently in public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and Tate Gallery, London. Presenting a world that pulses with excesses and appetites, Brown explores the breadth of human experience in tactile oil paintings. Broadly inspired by the history of painting — from Rubens and Veronese to the muscular expressionism of Willem de Kooning — Brown's personal vision transcends classical notions of genre and narrative, freeing subject matter from its original context and positioning it within a new aesthetic reality.

Lot 2: Camille Henrot Untitled, 2015. Courtesy the artist.

Living and working in New York, Camille Henrot has received the coveted Silver Lion award for most promising young artist at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Her diverse work combines mediums including film, drawing and sculpture.

In this drawing from the artist's 'Nicki Minaj' series, a reworking of the musician's controversial music video Anaconda into a piece of social commentary, elegant line drawings inspired by scenes from the video play with ghosts of colonialism and gender stereotyping. More generally, Henrot's practice takes inspiration from subjects including mythology, cinema, evolutionary biology and religion.

Hernan Bas Memphis Living (Picking From A Still Life), 2014. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery.

Born in 1978 in Florida, Hernan Bas now lives and works in Detroit, Michigan and Miami. This work, from the series 'Memphis Living', is an homage to the energetic designs of the Memphis Group, a 1980s design collective whose aim was to subvert Modernist conventions of good taste with flamboyant pattern, color and humor. With this work, Bas continues his exploration of the decorative arts and unique interiors. He says that he was "exploring new ways of interpreting a definitive and somewhat overlooked period in cultural history...In my opinion, living 'Memphis' means more than a love of bright colors, pattern and uncomfortable seating. It was an impassioned moment, a daring, bold-formed and wildly influential movement that is catching our rear-view attention again."

Lot 4: Stephen Gill Hackney Flowers, 2004-7. Courtesy the artist.

Born in 1971, Stephen Gill is celebrated in various private and public collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London's National Portrait Gallery and Victoria Miro Gallery. Gill's work is a collaboration of artist, place and time: His 'Hackney Flowers' series evolved from collecting flowers, seeds, berries and objects, pressing then layering them against his own photographs and found ephemera. The artist often buried his photographs in the ground to allow for discoloration.

Lot 5: Jonathan Trayte Olkurbis Comet, 2016. Courtesy the artist.

One of England's most promising and exciting young talents today, Jonathan Trayte was born in 1980 in London and remains based in the city after studying at at the Royal Academy Schools and Kent Institute of Art. Trayte has always been drawn to playful questioning of nature as well as casting as a medium for sculpture. While exploring the packaging industry's perpetual attempt at making products look seductive, he turns highly industrial materials into flamboyant and flirtatious forgeries of the natural world.

Lot 6: Laurence Owen Language Bouncing Off the Artifact, 2016. Courtesy the artist.

Born and Gloucester and based in London, Laurence Owen uses painting and ceramics to explore the phenomenological play between representation of the psyche and representation of the world. This piece, Language Bouncing Off the Artifact, was previously exhibited in June 2016 at Evelyn Yard, where he installed 27 paintings embedded into the floor, thus subverting traditional channels of perception and viewership.

Lot 7: Enrico David Untitled (clean cast), 2016.

Having had recent shows at the Hepworth Wakefield in 2015 and Sharjah Art Foundation in 2016, Enrico David lives and works in London and Berlin. His practice encompasses painting, sculpture, textiles and installation — with the act of drawing being key to his exploration of form. Mining a space between figuration and abstraction, the artist consistently returns to the body as a point of departure, exploring the human figure as a metaphor for transformation.

Lot 8: Annie Morris Stack 6, Studio Purple, 2016. Courtesy the artist.

A London-born graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts, Annie Morris makes a mix of painting, sculpture, collage and illustration. She is not attached to a particular medium but rather characterizes her work as "usually made up of lots of smaller pieces that come together to make one big piece."

This particular work from her 'stacked' series of sculptures is a tower shaped from plaster and sand and painted with bright, raw pigment. It is playful, seemingly weightless; neither fully figurative nor abstract, simple and defiant.

Lot 9: Joe Bradley Untitled, 2013. Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown's Entreprises. Generously donated by Beth Swofford.

A perennial favorite in previous Phillips auctions of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Joe Bradley was born in Kittery Maine in 1975 and received his BFA in 1999 from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

The work of Bradley, while always in the realm of painting, varies wildly in formal and aesthetic qualities. From his rudimentary line drawings to saturated paint-soaked canvases, each champions the material of its making. Tapped from Bradley's minimal canon, this playful work on paper is simultaneously a quick drawing and a sensitive composition.

Visit Artsy to bid on these 9 lots from the Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Benefit Auction 2017 prior to the event on 25 January.