19 September 2017

Phillips Announces Highlights from October 20th Century & Contemporary Art Auctions

Frieze Week Auctions to Include Works by Sigmar Polke, Adrian Ghenie, Hurvin Anderson, Andreas Gursky, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol & Wolfgang Tillmans


LONDON - 19 SEPTEMBER 2017 - This October, Phillips’ auctions of 20th Century & Contemporary Art will bring together a broad spectrum of international names, celebrating the rich diversity of the art landscape of today. The Evening Sale represents sought-after artists from across the world including Sigmar Polke, Adrian Ghenie, Hurvin Anderson, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. The sale will offer an important group of Italian artists, including Agostino Bonalumi and Enrico Castellani, as well as rare photographs by Wolfgang Tillmans and Andreas Gursky. Comprising over 180 lots, the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale will take place on 5 October and will be followed by the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 6 October, featuring 36 lots.

Dina Amin, Senior Director and Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Europe, said,
“This October our aim was to curate a sale that reflects the depth and breadth of today’s market, with exceptional examples from both long established names in the 20th Century & Contemporary Art market, as well as the young and rising contemporary stars that Phillips has had a longstanding history of championing. We are particularly pleased to bring to auction Sigmar Polke’s ‘Tänzerin’, Adrian Ghenie’s ‘The Collector 4’ from the Katayama Collection, and works by Hurvin Anderson and Andreas Gursky. In celebration of concurrent events in the art world this season, we are excited to offer works by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, whose exhibition is opening next month at the Tate Modern, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who is currently the subject of his first large-scale exhibition in the UK at the Barbican Art Gallery. Both Evening and Day sales offer a diverse range of works that will appeal to both seasoned collectors and first-time buyers from every corner of the globe.”

The Evening Sale | 6 October 2017

Leading the Evening Sale is Sigmar Polke’s Tänzerin, 1994, a rare example of Polke’s celebrated Rasterbilder. The present work has been housed in the same private collection in Germany since it was purchased from the artist, and has never been seen at auction until now. In Tänzerin, Polke has enlarged his subject and intricately reproduced the effect of printed matter by returning to his most celebrated and iconic technique of rendering his detailed web of dots by hand. The work is also exemplary of the Polke’s prolific experimentations with colour. The iridescent surface of the picture plane oscillates under light and motion, the movement of the onlooker revealing changes in chromaticity, reflecting Polke’s hallucinogenic universe. Distinct from most other later examples, the entire surface of Tänzerin is composed wholly in the Raster technique. It is this as well as Polke’s mastery of alchemy and exploration of abstraction and figuration which makes Tänzerin so visually arresting.

Adrian Ghenie’s The Collector 4 is a star lot from the collection of Masamichi Katayama, founder of the renowned Japanese interior design firm Wonderwall. The Collector 4, executed in 2009, belongs to a series of paintings in which the artist explores the role of the obsessive collector, focusing particularly on the Luftwaffe commander-in-chief, Hermann Goering. Channelling themes of greed, desire and malevolence, in the present work the collector lies in his bed, his face bloated and frozen in anguish like a ghoulish death mask, and surrounded by paintings. The Collector 4 is a powerful example of the artist’s mastery of his chosen medium, drawing upon historical and artistic currents from the 20th century canon to produce stirring and psychologically complex images.

2017 Turner Prize nominee Hurvin Anderon’s Peter’s Series: Back is from the artist’s esteemed series of dynamic paintings and works on paper. Exhibited at Anderson’s revered solo exhibitions in 2009 at Tate Britain, London, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, Peter’s Series consists of eight paintings and over fifteen drawings, which Anderson commenced work on in 2007. Born in Birmingham to Jamaican parents, Anderson’s work explores the way community and identity can be represented, as well as themes of memory, identity and nationhood. Focusing on and revisiting the same subject matter in his painterly re-workings, Anderson’s series depicts an intimate attic space converted into a barbershop. The present work transcends both the figurative and abstract, depicting an unknown sitter pre- or post- haircut.

Los Angeles, 1998, is a rare and pivotal masterpiece by Andreas Gursky, and only the second of the edition of six ever to be seen at auction. Taking the photo from the Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles, Gursky unveils a moment in time, suspended in his perfected tension between flatness and perspective. Other examples from the edition are housed in the collection of the Harvard Art Museums and The Broad, Los Angeles.

Building on the success of Phillips’ Evening Sale in London in June, when a new world record was established for Wolfgang Tillmans with Freischwimmer #84, the October auction will offer Einzelgänger VIII, which stems from the artist’s rare and mesmerising first series of abstract configurations from 2003. An explosion of dark red hues envelops the viewer, a majestic example of Tillmans’ expert diffusion of light. Tillmans’ abstract photographic compositions have been subject of two recent major exhibitions, with similar works having been exhibited at the retrospective at Tate Modern, London, and the Fondation Beyeler, Riehen.

Additional highlights from the Evening Sale include Property from the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, with Untitled, circa 1984; Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s Flying 12, 2009, in anticipation of the first major UK museum exhibition dedicated to these pioneers of installation art; and Andy Warhol’s American Knives, 1982. Italian artists also figure prominently with works by Enrico Castellani and Agostino Bonalumi among the top lots.

The Day Sale | 5 October 2017
The Day Sale is led by Adrian Ghenie’s Burning Books. Rendered in perfected impasto, Burning Books encapsulates Ghenie’s engagement with the horrors of fascism, whilst also serving as a paradigm of contemporary painting. Painted in 2014, it is an exquisite example of the artist’s exploration of collective memory. Another leading lot in the sale is Peter Doig’s Untitled, 1991.

A selection of fresh-to-the-market German works of art will also be offered. Georg Baselitz’s Hundekunst, 2000, was acquired by the present owner the year of its creation. Through its evocative painterly surface and monumental scale, the work is exemplary of Baselitz’s daring oeuvre. Additionally, an untitled painting by Sigmar Polke will be offered for the first time at auction, having remained in the same private collection in Germany since its execution in 1999. A.R. Penck’s large-scale oil on canvas, Untitled will also be making its auction debut.

Auction: Friday, 6 October 2017, 5pm BST
Auction viewing: 29 September - 6 October
Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London

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*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium; prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.

PRESS CONTACT: LONDON - Katie Carder, Press Manager, EMEA kcarder@phillips.com +44 20 7901 7938

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