New Year, new selling exhibition. Phillips starts the off season in New York with a selling exhibition of African American artists. During the November sales season at Phillips a steady stream of African Americans visited the pre-auction exhibition of works posing for selfies in front of works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and KAWS. The KAWS painting Untitled (Fatal Group), which depicts characters inspired by Bill Cosby’s Fat Albert cartoon show, went on to surprise almost everyone when it set a record for the artist at $2.7m or three times the high estimate of $900k.
This new exhibition will feature works by Charles Alston, John Outterbridge, Romare Bearden, Betye Saar, Fred Wilson and Cameron Welch. Kehinde Wiley’s Passing/Posing: Jean de Carodelet (2004) pictured above is among the paintings on offer. Here’s Phillips release on the show:
Phillips is pleased to announce the major exhibition AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN. Open to the public from 10 January to 8 February, the exhibition will kick off 2019 at Phillips New York galleries. Curated by Arnold Lehman, Phillips’ Senior Advisor and Director Emeritus of the Brooklyn Museum, the 2019 exhibition in New York continues the important mission of a similar exhibition organized in 2017 by Lehman in London, which took a closer look at the art historical and social impact of the 26 African American artists featured. In conjunction with the exhibition, Phillips will host a panel discussion on 14 January with Arnold Lehman in conversation with Brooklyn curator Ashley James, writer, critic and artist Deborah Willis, and Sandra Jackson-Dumont, chair of education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and formerly of the Studio Museum. The discussion will focus on the artistic changes and social implications from the 1960s to today as seen through the lens of both the Tate’s exhibition Soul of a Nation, currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum, and AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN.
Covering the period of 1950 to today with over 60 artists, “AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN — likely the largest selling exhibition of African American artists to date — clearly articulates the increasing and exceptional importance of African American art and artists within the art historical canon. It gives proper recognition to these extraordinary artists of the mid-20th and early 21st centuries alongside their contemporaries,” said Arnold Lehman. “The considerably smaller 2017 exhibition in London was met with a great deal of enthusiasm from collectors and the general public alike, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to bring a much broader cross-section of these amazingly talented artists to collectors and exhibition visitors from New York and beyond.”