19 February 2019

Phillips Announces Highlights from the London Sales of 20th Century & Contemporary Art    


Auctions on 7 & 8 March to Include Works by

Gerhard Richter, Martin Kippenberger, Roy Lichtenstein

and, for the First Time to Auction, Tschabalala Self


LONDON – 19 FEBRUARY 2019 – Phillips is pleased to announce highlights from the upcoming London Sales of 20th Century & Contemporary Art. The Evening Sale, taking place on 7 March, will offer 29 lots of Modern, Post-War, and Contemporary Art. Works by Gerhard Richter, Martin Kippenberger, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jean-Michel Basquiat will lead the sale. The Day Sale on 8 March will be comprised of 135 lots, including works by Sean Scully, KAWS, Rudolf Stingel, and Anish Kapoor.

Rosanna Widén, Senior Specialist and Head of Evening Sale, “A year after Phillips’ most successful auction in company history, the March Sales of 20th Century & Contemporary Art bring together a strong and diverse group of artworks that encompass the very best of the artistic movements from the past seven decades. The auction is led by a strong German section and boasts an impressive showing of African American art, including a painting from the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Works by blue-chip artists will be offered alongside examples by artists who are new to the secondary market, such as Tschabalala Self. Cementing Phillips’ growing commitment to broadening the reach of our sales, we are also offering works by important Modern artists such as Giorgio Morandi.”

Evening Sale | 7 March

The Evening Sale is led by Düsenjäger (Jet Fighter), one of Gerhard Richter’s historically iconic early works, serving as the top lot. Stretching two metres in width, the work is one of the artist’s first Photo Paintings and dates from the dawn of German Pop art. The work is the second of a group of eight celebrated paintings that Richter made of warplanes between 1963 and 1964; with its rare use of colour, it is an exceptional example that expands on the artist's well-known grisaille palette. Of the eight paintings from the series, four are in important German museums, namely the Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, and the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. Echoing concurrent artistic movements in the United States, Düsenjäger recalls Roy Lichtenstein’s Blam from 1962. By 1963, when Düsenjäger was painted, Richter had honed a new and persuasive visual language which would become the cornerstone for his artistic development. During the course of 1963, the success of Richter’s photorealistic works would see his works celebrated at his first major exhibition in Düsseldorf, as well as the establishment of his first contract with an art dealer. It is a further tribute to the importance of Düsenjäger that it was formerly owned by the eminent artist Günther Uecker.

Martin Kippenberger’s self-portrait Ohne Titel (Meine Lügen sind ehrliche) (illustrated page one) is also among the selection of German masterworks in the Evening Sale. Executed in 1992, this work was painted alongside Kippenberger’s second major cycle of self-portraits which he worked on whilst living in between his Frankfurt studio and the Greek island of Syros. Ohne Titel (Meine Lügen sind ehrliche) presents the artist’s body with unbridled honesty, baring his unique eccentricity and raw energy to the viewer. Kippenberger uses self-portraits such as Ohne Titel (Meine Lügen sind ehrliche) to challenge iconic art historical frameworks. Additional German artworks being offered by Phillips include works by Franz West and Andreas Gursky. Celebrating Franz West's current retrospective at Tate Modern, London, the auction includes West's seminal Paßstück Schnorre from 1982-83.

Also among the Evening Sale highlights is an important and early work by Roy Lichtenstein. Girl in Mirror (estimate: £4.5-6.5 million), 1964, employs the imagery that has become synonymous with the artist’s name. Forming part of the artist’s celebrated group of Girl works from the 1960s, the present work is rooted in the foundations of Pop art. The artist presents a graceful blonde woman framed within the constraints of a handheld mirror. Previously housed in the notable collections of Max Palevsky and Charles H. Carpenter, and with an extensive and notable exhibition history in the most prominent institutions worldwide, Girl in Mirror is a crucially significant work that captures the crux of Lichtenstein’s painterly oeuvre, idiosyncratically composed of Ben-Day dots debating the relationship between high art and mass culture.

Also being offered is Giorgio Morandi’s Natura morta (estimate: £600,000-800,000). This still life captures Morandi’s distinctive colour palette and meticulous attention to structure, space, light and form. Engaging with the Pittura Metafisica group, which gained momentum in his native Italy between 1917-1920, Morandi was greatly influenced by the dreamlike quality of works by artists Giorgio de Chirico, Filippo de Pisis, and Carlo Carrà. Emulating their poetic style of painting encouraged Morandi to explore a more contemplative approach to his still lives.

On the heels of the second instalment of the selling exhibition American African American in New York, Phillips is proud to present a strong selection of works by African American artists in the London auctions. Untitled (Velveeta) hails directly from the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat (estimate: £1,200,000-1,500,000). A study in colour and abstraction, this 1984 work epitomises Basquiat’s distinctly feverish visual repertoire. Untitled (Velveeta) exemplifies his ability to convey pictorial and textural complexity on a single plane. Tschabalala Self’s, 2015, Lilith will also be offered, exploring the iconographic importance of the black female body in contemporary culture, and marking Self’s first time at auction.

Day Sale | 8 March

Among the leading lots in the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale is Sean Scully’s Dust (estimate: £400,000-600,000). In this work, stripes of rich shades capture Scully’s characteristic architectural composition. Having achieved a world auction record for KAWS in the New York Evening Sale in November 2018, the London Day Sale will see KAWS feature again with Untitled (estimate: £300,000-500,000). Painted in 2012, this work is representative of KAWS’ exploration in recent years of fragmented cartoon imagery. Additional highlights in the Day Sale include Rudolf Stingel’s Untitled (estimate: £250,000-350,000) and Anish Kapoor’s Momo (estimate: £250,000-350,000).


20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Auction: Thursday, 7 March 2019, 7pm GMT

Auction viewing: 23 February - 7 March

Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London

Click here for more information.


20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

Auction: Friday, 8 March 2019, 2pm GMT

Auction viewing: 23 February - 8 March

Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London

Click here for more information.



Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st century art and design. With dedicated expertise in the areas of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions, Watches, and Jewelry, Phillips offers professional services and advice on all aspects of collecting. Auctions and exhibitions are held at salerooms in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, while clients are further served through representative offices based throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Phillips also offers an online auction platform accessible anywhere in the world.  In addition to providing selling and buying opportunities through auction, Phillips brokers private sales and offers assistance with appraisals, valuations, and other financial services.

Visit www.phillips.com for further information.


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


PRESS CONTACT:    Katie Carder, Head of Press, Europe                                        kcarder@phillips.com                +44 20 7901 7938

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