Scott Reyburn comes out first with his story on Phillips’s new look. Revealing that the Contemporary-focused firm’s Frieze sale will contain top lots from Banksy and Alex Israel, the new CEO says the firm will be focusing on lots $5m and below but the first two announced are closer to below than mid-seven figures. The Russian-owned firm seems to have been happy to commit £100m to the new flagship location but won’t be playing the guarantee game:
“It’s only a building,” said the New York art adviser Lisa Schiff, founder of Schiff Fine Art. “There is room for more than two major auction houses, but they need to make their contemporary sales more serious.”
Will Phillips’s £100 million-plus move to a flagship building in Mayfair make a difference, giving extra confidence to wealthy sellers? Or will vendors be motivated simply by how much money an auction house is prepared to put on the table? […]
“We’ve built a commendable reputation bringing extraordinary talent to the market. We’re going to carry on with that as well as develop categories of international contemporary art that we’re not focussing on right now, such as African, Asian and Middle Eastern.” Mr. Dolman said that Phillips would also be holding “class-leading” watch sales as part of its plans to expand in the luxury lifestyle sector.
New Location, New Ambitions for Phillips (NYTimes.com)