Freeman’s in Philadelphia held a sale of Modern and Contemporary art this week that totaled more than $2.1m. Seven of the top 10 lots exceeded their estimates and the two most expensive lots were by works by Sam Gilliam, the Washington, DC-based abstract painter whose reputation has waxed and waned over the last have century only to be experiencing a late resurgence that has culminated in a show at Mnuchin Gallery in New York.
Recent sales of Gilliam’s work at major and minor auction houses have greatly exceeded the estimates. This continued at Freeman’s where two works from the same collection made more than half a million dollars together. Seventeen bidders competed for Idylls I (above) driving the price beyond its $80,000 presale estimate to $370k. EAST II, the first Gilliam lot to come up on the block, realized four times the high estimate at $156,250 driven there by 12 bidders.