Phillips Contemporary & 20th Century Art Sale Breaks Artist Records, Totals $134.6 Million

Amy Sherald, The Bathers, 2015, grossed an artist record $4,265,000.
Phillips

Five New auction records for Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas, Amy Sherald, Jadé Fadojutimi and Vaughn Spann

New York, December 7, 2020
Total evening sale: $134,583,400 / £100,426,133 / €110,977,472

Edward Dolman, CEO of Phillips, said: “Tonight marks an amazing achievement for Phillips where we achieved the highest sales total for a New York auction in company history. The total for tonight’s sale marks an increase of nearly 25% over last fall’s 20th Century and Contemporary sale and amidst a truly unprecedented year that has seen myriad challenges for the art market and auctions. At Phillips, we’ve had a long-standing digital first strategy that has proven itself: the live auction event as we knew it has been reimagined and transformed, with the excitement and energy of the auction room being telegraphed worldwide from our bespoke studio in London, including a live video feed from New York and auction feeds from around the world. This achievement follows another record auction in Hong Kong, and we have seen continued growth in this market. »

Jean-Paul Engelen and Robert Manley, Global Co-Heads of 20th Century Art and Contemporary Art, jointly stated: “We are delighted to end an unprecedented year so strongly; nine months after the initial shutdown which threw the world of live auctions into uncertainty, we have just achieved one of the strongest sales in Phillips history. This success is a testament to the strength of our team and the deep relationships we have with our collectors, forged over decades of expertise in bringing the best works to market with the creativity and drive for which Phillips is known. The sale was one of our most diverse and we were thrilled to see five artists of color achieve world auction records tonight.”

David Hockney, Nichols Canyon, 1980, sold for $41,067,500. Credit: Thomas De Cruz Media: Haydon Perrior
Phillips

Out of the Gate, Amy Sherald Bathers rose more than tenfold from previous auction records to a remarkable $4,265.00, almost 30 times the pre-sale estimate with nearly 15 minutes of bidding. by Titus Kaphar Sail reached $365,400, five times its pre-sale estimate, and Matthew Wong Before the night Falls reached $1,252,100, more than triple the pre-sale estimate; demonstrating Phillips’ continued strength in emerging artist markets.

Hockney’s Nichols Canyon sold for a groundbreaking price of $41,067,500, setting a record for a landscape by the artist – this caliber of price is usually reserved for his figurative works, but the rarity and truly exceptional nature of this landscape shattered that notion. Clyfford Still’s remarkable PH-407, which fetched $18,442,500, is a rare monumental work from its Maryland period, and it’s one of several dozen works by the artist to remain in the hands of private. At Basquiat’s Portrait of A-One AKA King sold for $11,500,000, marking the first time this work has been marketed in 30 years. The painting is an exemplary work from the height of Basquiat’s career, painted in 1982 when he was producing important works of art. We set a world record for Kehinde Wiley Portrait of Mickalene Thomas, the Coyote, reaching $378,000, tripling the presale estimate while Mickalene Thomas I’ve been good to me reached $901,200, quadrupling the presale estimate for the work.

Jadé Fadojutimi, Lotus Land, 2017, earned an artist record $378,000.
Phillips

The ten best batches

David Hockney, Nichols Canyon, 1980

* World auction record for a Landscape by the Artist

Quote On Request

$41,067,500

Clyford Still, PH-407, 1964

Quote On Request

$18,442,500

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Portrait of A-One AKA King, 1982

is. $10,000,000 – 15,000,000

$11,500,000

Joan Mitchell, Untitled, 1953

is. $10,000,000 – 15,000,000

$11,297,500

Amy Sherald, The Bathers, 2015

*World auction record for the Artist

is. $150,000 – $200,000

$4,265,000

Condominium George, Transparent female forms, 2009

is. $3,500,000 – 5,500,000

$4,265,000

Gerard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (678-1), 1988

is. $3,000,000 – 5,000,000

$4,265,000

Helen Frankenthaler, Off White Square, 1973

is. $2,800,000 – 3,500,000

$3,720,500

Ruth Asawa, Untitled (S.045, Five-lobed multi-layered continuous form suspended within a form, with spheres in the first, second and third lobes), 1960s

is. $1,500,000 – 2,000,000

$3,539,000

Donald Judd, Untitled, Executed 1965 and remade 1969

is. $3,000,000 – 4,000,000

$3,539,000

New auction records

Amy Sherald, bathers, 2015

is. $150,000 – $200,000

$4,265,000

*previous record price: $350,000 set in 2019

Jade Fadojutimi, Land of the Lotus, 2017

is. $40,000 – $60,000

$378,000

*previous record price: $52,260 set in 2020

Vaughn Spann, Big Black Rainbow (Deep Dive), 2019

is. $40,000 – $60,000

$239,400

*previous record price: $187,500 set in 2020

David Hockney, Nichols Canyon, 1980

* World auction record for a landscape by the artist

Quote On Request

$41,067,500

previous record price: $28,453,000 set in 2018

Kehinde Wiley, Portrait of Mickalene Thomas, the Coyote, 2017

is. $100,000 – $150,000

$378,000

*previous record price: $350,000 set in 2020

Mickalene Thomas, I’ve been good to me 2013

is. $200,000 – $300,000

$901,200

*previous record price: $567,000 set in 2019

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