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Phillips de Pury & Co. Announces Highlights from Contemporary Art Sale
Sarah Morris, Swan (Origami), 2007. Estimate: 40,000-60,000GBP. Copyright Sarah Morris. Image courtesy of Phillips de Pury & Company.

LONDON.- Phillips de Pury & Company, announced the highlights from its October Contemporary Art auctions featuring 56 lots in the Evening sale and 148 lots in the Day sale with a total low estimate of £8,543,500/$13,387,664 and a high estimate of £12,266,500 / $19,221,605.

Included in the Evening sale are important works by David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Maurizio Cattelan and Ed Ruscha. Also included are highlights from the KIT Finance Collection; a selection of 13 works from the Adam Lindemann collection of Contemporary German Art and a neon donated by Tracey Emin to benefit the Turner Contemporary Arts Trust.

“Phillips de Pury & Company is synonymous with Frieze and our October sales promise to offer collectors rare, fresh and important works by cutting edge Contemporary and Post-War artists alike. We are particularly delighted to have secured for sale David Hockney’s Autumn Pool from his iconic 78’ Paper pool series. With a large format Paper pool not seen on the secondary market since 2002, this seminal work will ensure a new world record for a work on paper by the artist at auction.” Peter Sumner, Head of Contemporary Sales, London.

Highlights include: David Hockney’s Autumn Pool from the series Paper Pool, 1978, estimated at £700,000–1,000,000. Fresh to the market, Autumn Pool is an outstanding example of Hockney’s work. Since the mid-1960s, Hockney has painted, drawn, photographed and printed the image of the swimming pool making it without doubt the most recognisable motif in his oeuvre. Created on six sheets of paper using flat blocks of highly saturated colours, Autumn Pool exemplifies Hockney’s devotion to developing the pressed paper pulp technique.

Autumn Pool is a tightly framed pictorial composition across six sheets of paper, with a composite, tessellated image of a pool and its diving board. The picture’s balanced layout is dominated by the strong vertical and horizontal lines of the jutting diving board and the edges on the pool. Accentuated by the protruding white board, the composition’s one-point perspective effortlessly draws the viewer’s eye across the brilliant, jewel-like tones of the pool’s water which reflects and refracts the luminous light drenching the outdoor scene. While the bold lines define a perspective, Hockney’s lack of formal tonal recession reinforces the abstract flatness of the picture plane. Simple and daring in its formal design, Autumn Pool is filled with a tension between the figuration of the composite image and the abstraction of each individual sheet.

Andy Warhol’s The Scream (After Edvard Munch), 1984, estimated at £500,000 –700,000. Warhol produced several different versions of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, with only five works on canvas. With its ghostly presence and minimal colour, the present lot is almost sterile in appearance. The feelings of alienation and inner turmoil in Munch’s original work are juxtaposed against Warhol’s factory aesthetic; as such, Munch’s image becomes part of the Warholian machine.

Maurizio Cattelan’s Una Domenica a Rivara (A Sunday in Rivara), 1992, estimated at £400,000–600,000. Maurizio Cattelan has been making darkly comic work that has provoked and challenged the nature of the contemporary art world since the late 1980s. A knowing and sophisticated artist, Cattelan has continuously appropriated images and ideas from his everyday life to create a cast of often explicitly selfreferential characters and personas who inhabit an absurd world suspended between reality and fiction. As an early work from 1992, the present lot, Una Domenica a Rivara (A Sunday in Rivara), is one of his first and most striking statements of his role as an outlaw who challenges the perceived sanctity of art in our society. Created originally for an exhibition at Turin’s Castello di Rivara, the physical work itself may simply consist of a number of knotted bed-sheets dangling from the venue’s top-floor window like a prop from a movie prison break, yet its conceptual and paradoxical implications are deeply layered in meaning. Una Domenica a Rivara presents Cattelan as an escapologist, a Houdini figure emancipating himself from the art world and its governing institutions – ironically the exact same art world and governing institutions which have established and legitimized the conceptual nature of his work.

Ed Ruscha’s Bee?, 1999, estimated at £400,000 – 600,000. Bee? By Ed Ruscha is a excellent example of Ruscha’s investigations of the interplay between visual and written language. While some of the giants of 20th-century art like, Pablo Picasso and John Baldessari, have occasionally incorporated text in their work, Ruscha has devoted the near entirety of his oeuvre to language. Dating back to the early 1960s, isolated words against a variety of backgrounds have been a hallmark of the conceptual artist's sensibility. Bee?, a monumental, shaped canvas which, as its title suggests, depicts an incomplete, ambiguous word running off the edge of the canvas – its last letter only partially revealed – is one of Ruscha’s most astute and adroit paintings. The intended clever word play, reminiscent of the work of Marcel Duchamp (famous for his puns and intellectual mind games), hints at several possible meanings; allowing the viewer to guess at the work.

Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled (Black Butterfly Dioxide Purple MPG 05), 2005, estimated at £250,000–350,000. Grotjahn teases out the entire potential of modernism in his work. Working with multiple manners of reduction at once Grotjahn plays with notions of monochromatic and geometric form all at once. The pairing of these two concepts creates bold new geometric abstractions evident in the present lot.

Sterling Ruby’s SP58, 2008 estimated £150,000–250,000. Working across a variety of disciplines, the highly prolific Sterling Ruby creates striking works which invoke the Modernist and Minimalist movements yet keep their form and materiality utterly unique and contemporary. Ruby’s performance and ritualistic practice pays homage to his biggest influences, fellow Los Angeles artists Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy. Like their work, Ruby’s is extremely visceral with his large-scale spray-painted canvases of which SP58 is the most monumental to appear at auction. It is breathtakingly lurid and bright, with sharply-defined splatters of acrylic paint over blurred, neon topographical maps. The highly developed and worked abstract fields are reminiscent of graffiti-filled urban murals in which the perception of space is contorted, thus highlighting the flatness of the picture plane.

Phillips de Pury & Company will also offer works from The Adam Lindemann Collection of Contemporary German Art. From Pop Art to contemporary design via wristwatches and African and Oceanic artefacts, Adam Lindemann has constantly reinvented himself as a passionate collector far ahead of his time. Mimicking his all-conquering entrepreneurial spirit, Lindemann’s voracious collecting appetite has led him to the four corners of the globe from where he has amassed iconic art treasures of our time.

The thirteen lots that will feature in the Evening Sale are a testament to Lindemann’s unique eye for a young generation of German artists who have followed in the footsteps of the towering figures of post-war German art. Succeeding Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke and Joseph Beuys as the artistic giants of Germany, the likes of Jonathan Meese, André Butzer and Thomas Zipp have re-invigorated the Berlin art world with their brash, testosterone-driven paintings, sculptures, installations and performances. One generation removed from the associations of World War II, the Berlin Group have been able to draw from and comment on the past with much more freedom and fervour than their predecessors.

The quality, depth and breadth of Adam Lindemann’s tightly curated selection for sale illustrates Berlin’s zeitgeist, the most innovative and thought provoking art produced today. Highlights from the collection will include: Anselm Reyle’s, Untitled, 2008, estimated at £80,000-120,000; Jonathan Meese’s Stalinietzsche de Large, im achten Ozean, 2006, estimated at £40,000-£60,000 and Andreas Hofer’s, Death World, 2006 estimated at £20,000-30,000.

Four works will be offered in the Evening sale from the Kit Finance Collection. These works include: Antony Gormley’s, Sublimate XVI, 2008 estimated at £200,000-£300,000; George Condo’s, The Irish Barber, 2008 estimated at 150,000-200,000;Yinka Shonibare’s, Two works: 19th Century Kid (Benjamin Disraeli) and 19th Century Kid (William Gladstone), 2000 estimated at 40,000-60,000 and Sarah Morris’, Swan (Origami), 2007 estimated at 40,000-60,000.

Tracey Emin has generously donated I Never Stopped Loving You, 2010 to be sold with no reserve for The Turner Contemporary Arts Trust in Margate. Perhaps best known for her provocative autobiographical installations My Bed and Everybody I Have Ever Slept With, Emin’s neon works revoke the confrontational tone of the aforementioned works in favour of more heartfelt symbolic meaning. She has used neon consistently throughout her career, taking full advantage of its commercial connotations as shop signs with eye grabbing potential.

This lot is an edition of the commissioned work completed by Emin for her hometown of Margate that expresses a personal attachment to the historic seaside resort: “It’s a declaration of love for Margate from me, but also what I want in the summer – why go to Brighton for a dirty weekend – come to Margate. I want people to come off the train, I want them to walk along the seafront, I want them to hold hands and to have a snog and say ‘I never stopped loving you.’

The new Turner Contemporary gallery, designed by David Chipperfield is being built at the northern point of Margate bay, Kent. When it opens in spring 2011, it will be the largest art gallery in the south-east of England outside London and will serve as a catalyst for the regeneration of this historic sea-side town and the local area. Turner Contemporary Art Trust and Phillips de Pury would like to thank Tracey Emin for so generously donating this artwork for auction.

Phillips de Pury & Company | Peter Sumner | Contemporary Art Sale |

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