It has been an evening of painting and sculpture at Phillips Auction House in London couple of days ago. It is quite clear that we are talking about a highly successful auction in terms of number of sold lots. If we compare it to Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening, on the one hand, we can see that there is similar outcome, although the Phillips auction has had a smaller number of lots. On the other hand, in comparison to Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening, there is a higher number of sold lots, although we can see similarities when it comes to the outcome. But, let us turn to the highs and lows of Phillips Contemporary Art Evening…
First of all, it is interesting to see that although only 2 pieces were left unsold, there isn’t a big number of lots which were auctioned for a value higher than the higher estimate. This would explain the total of sold lots adding up to $22,804,544, i.e. a difference of 22% under the total of high estimated values and almost 16% difference in terms total of low estimated values. To be precise, only 4 lots were sold for a price higher than the high estimate. Exactly half of sold lots were pieces which found new owners for a price which was in range of estimated values. A total of 10 lots were sold under the low estimate. So, which were the unsold and which pieces achieved interesting prices?
In terms of pieces which hadn’t achieved an expected outcome, there are five lots to which we would like to point your attention. First of all, the two unsold pieces: Park (2004) by Cecily Brown, lot 17, and Settlement (2005) by Antony Gormley, lot 20, did not find new owners. In terms of achieving a price that was lower than the low estimated value, pieces by Urs Fischer, Bad TimingLamb Chop!, and Fredrik Værslev, Untitled (Canopy Painting: Blue and Orange V), were sold for prices 30 percent lower than the low estimated value. Right behind them is a piece by Nate Lowman, Six Shooter, which achieved a price 25% lover than the low estimate. Let us, however, turn to the highpoints of the auction…
The most expensive piece sold at the auction (perhaps expectedly), but still under the high estimated value, was sculptural work by Ai Weiwei – Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads was sold for $3,815,000. Although a lower score, one of the most significant highlights was lot 11, Biting the Book by Mark Bradford, which was sold for $3,357,200. This piece achieved a price 46% higher than the high estimated value. the 3 million mark was also achieved with lot number 13: Andy Warhol’s Diamond Dust Shoes were sold for $3,052,000 (a price which was in range of estimated values). Pieces by Tauba Auerbach and Christopher Wool were sold for prices which were in range of estimated values and higher than $1 million.
Featured image: Ai Weiwei - Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads (lot 8)
We will continue to work hard in order to make auction analysis and other Collectors’ Tip articles even better – sign up for My Widewalls and follow the art market with us!
Featured image: Antony Gormley - Settlement, 2005 (lot 20)
All images courtesy of phillips.com