The Master, Judd Tully, did his usual sedulous research on Phillips evening sale. Tully points out that Phillips is still using third party guarantees to build market share. From the looks of the numbers he reports, those guarantees aren’t prodding “artificial” prices.
Overall, Italians still did well but British artists, the category that many are hoping to see a resurgence in (judging by consignments,) did not.
Some see a flight to saftey, exemplified by Tully’s quote from Nicola Cardi, “People are still interested in the safe material.”
Here are some of the prices and buyers Tully picked out as telling:
Latifa Echakhch’s shaped canvas abstraction “Tambour 88” from 2013, which sold to a telephone bidder for £122,500/$175,175 (est. £50-70,000)
Yayoi Kusama’s obsessively patterned “Infinity Nets OPQR” in acrylic on canvas from 2007, sold to another anonymous telephone bidder for £746,500/$1,067,495 (est. £500-700,000). It last sold at Phillips de Pury & Company New York in May 2012 for $662,500, a return for the seller.
Jim Hodges’s brass chain “Angels Voice” from 1993, closely resembling an elaborate spider web and offered with an installation template and certificate of authenticity from the artist, sold to Ed Tang of Sotheby’s recently acquired Art Agency Partners on behalf of a private client for £410,500/$587,015 (est. £300-500,000). It last sold at Phillips de Pury New York in November 2007 for a then buoyant $505,500.
Damien Hirst’s big, color dotted “Hydrastinine” from 2007, in household gloss on canvas, sold for £602,500/$861,575 (est. £500-700,000),
Phillips’ Respectable $35.1M 20th Century & Contemporary Art Sale (BLOUIN ARTINFO)