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Phillips announces highlights from its 20th Century & Contemporary Art Frieze Week Auctions
Günther Förg, Untitled, 2004. Estimate £250,000 - 350,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.



LONDON.- Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening and Day sales bring together a rich diversity of Modern and Contemporary artists this October. The Evening Sale opens with a front run of highly sought-after names, including Serge Attukwei Clottey, Jadé Fadojutimi, Sanya Kantarovsky, Flora Yukhnovich, and auction newcomer Reggie Burrows Hodges. Star lots include works by Marlene Dumas, Jean Fautrier, Albert Oehlen, and Sigmar Polke, among others. Further highlights featuring in both sales include paintings by Milton Avery from the Collection of Peter O’Toole and major works by Max Ernst from the Collection of Peter Schamoni. Phillips has also partnered with the UK rapper and actor Kano, who has selected a series of 11 works from the auctions for Kano Curates. The Day Sale will be held on 14 October at 2pm, followed by the Evening Sale on 15 October at 5pm. A full-scale preview exhibition will go on view to the public at 30 Berkeley Square during Frieze Week from 6 to 15 October.

Olivia Thornton, Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Europe, said, “Our global team has assembled a sale that truly reflects current international collecting trends with a diverse cross section of key periods of Modern and Contemporary art. Amidst a host of in demand names, we are particularly excited about our broad selection of cutting-edge contemporary works by Emily Mae Smith, Sanya Kantarovsky, and Flora Yukhnovich, among many others. The sale draws dialogues between younger and older names, from a bold landscape by Shara Hughes to the surreal Pyramid Lake by Max Ernst from the collection of film director and screenwriter Peter Schamoni.”

German Masters

Included in the Evening Sale is a selection of works by German artists starring the leading highlight of the sale, a masterwork by Sigmar Polke. This work is an important early example from 1968 of the artist’s innovative Stoffbilder series, combining commercially produced fabrics and painterly gesture in provocative new arrangements. Acquired in 1974 by the present owner, it is one of the last works from this early and much coveted Stoffbilder series to come to market. Previously on a long-term loan to the Kunstmuseum Bonn, the present work has a pedigree exhibition history, selected by Polke himself for his 1976 mid-career travelling retrospective, and exhibited in Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963-2010 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Tate Modern, London in 2014.

Albert Oehlen’s Retrospektiv comprises 20 small canvases that vary from the figurative to the abstract. Executed in the early years of his career, this showcase not only brings together miniature versions of Oehlen’s pre-1986 corpus – featuring references to his iconic Mirror Paintings series, his polarising Bad Paintings, important self-portraits, and early forays into abstraction – but also provides a fascinating blueprint of the prodigious output to follow. Rectrospektiv highlights the theoretical approach to painting taken by Oehlen before he made a more concerted shift into abstraction at the end of the 1980s. Other German painters include Günther Förg, with Ohne Titel, painted in 2008 (estimate: £350,000-450,000).

Important Private Collections

Phillips recently announced Maximiliana: Max Ernst from the Collection of Peter Schamoni. Through his close friendship with Max Ernst, renowned film director and screenwriter Peter Schamoni assembled an exceptional collection that serves as a lasting memento of one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. The Evening Sale presents four of the 80 works from the collection, led by Pyramid Lake.

Three works by the American colourist Milton Avery from the collection of Academy Award® Winner Peter O’Toole will feature in the Evening and Day sales. The celebrated film star bought the works from London’s Waddington Galleries soon after his career-defining lead in Lawrence of Arabia in 1962. The works have remained a treasured part of the family’s collection for five decades. Bird by Wild Sea and White Gull Resting will be offered in the Evening Sale, and Gulls in Fog in the Day Sale. Each portray the shoreline, a favorite subject of Avery’s that he would return to again and again throughout his career.




Further Highlights

A seminal example of Marlene Dumas’s unrivalled contribution to contemporary figurative painting, The Believer focuses on the face of an anonymous young man. Luminous and painterly, it forms part of an important group of works made by Dumas between 2005 and 2006 for the exhibition Man Kind at Galerie Paul Andriesse in Amsterdam in 2006. This enigmatic painting has since been exhibited at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among others.

I’m falling in Love belongs to an important group of paintings by Jean Fautrier. The present work marries the artist’s interest in the female form with his love of American jazz, with the series titled after famous jazz tracks of the era. It exemplifies Fautrier’s significant contribution to post-war abstraction and Art Informel and has an exceptional exhibition history, including the artist’s major 1989 retrospective at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris and in the landmark 1996 L’informe: mode d’emploi exhibition at the Centre nationale d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou.

Also included is Yayoi Kusama’s Silver-Nets (EOKI), a particularly dynamic example of the artist’s beautiful Infinity Nets series (estimate: £1,200,000-1,500,000). Other notable works include George Condo’s The Showgirl, 2008 and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva’s Champs de Sainte-Claire, 1958.

Contemporary Voices

The Evening Sale presents a rich variety of highly sought-after contemporary names, opening with Serge Attukwei Clottey’s Fashion icons, 2020-2021. The work belongs to a series of portraits exploring fashion, image-making and identity construction.

Other highlights include Jadé Fadojutimi’s Myths of Pleasure. One of London’s most exciting young artists, last year Fadojutimi became the youngest artist ever to have their work included in the Tate’s collection. Since graduating from the RCA in 2017, Fadojutimi’s work has been exhibited around the world, more recently in an exhibition at Hayward Gallery which is on view now, with solo exhibitions to follow later this year at Hepworth Wakefield and the ICA Miami, and in 2022 at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.

Flora Yukhnovich’s Tondo shifts between abstraction and figuration, combining art historical references with contemporary pop culture. This is a stunning example of Yukhnovich’s singular style of updating a Rococo aesthetic for a contemporary audience.

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

Leading the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale on 14 October is Gerhard Richter’s Abstrakt 474-1. Created in 1981, Abstrakt 474-1 encapsulates Richter’s early engagement with abstraction within his painterly practice and is part of his ongoing Abstract Pictures series commenced in the late 1970s. Another highlight is George Condo’s Grandpa (Old Red with Bubbles), a portrait of a forlorn creature covered in red shaggy hair, with a downturned mouth and rounded nose. Simultaneously humorous and grotesque, the depiction of the fictional character exemplifies Condo’s celebrated intervention in the genre of portrait painting. A further highlight is Günther Förg’s Untitled which builds upon the artist’s earlier series of “Gitterbilder” or “grid paintings”. Commenced by Förg in 1992, the series represents an experimentation with the crossbar form, with intersecting lines densely packed over passages of contrasting colour.










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