With blue-chip galleries like Hauser & Wirth Pace, Skarstedt, Van de Weghe, and others having recently opened new outposts on New York’s Long Island, Phillips revealed on Thursday that it will open a space in Southampton. The auction house, which joins Sotheby’s and Christie’s in expanding to the Hamptons, will open its new outpost on August 14 with a curated exhibition of 20th-century and contemporary art, as well as design pieces, jewelry, and watches.
Phillips has taken up residence in a two-story, 6,000-square-foot space at 1 Hampton Road, which once served as Southampton Town Hall and has been redesigned by studioMDA. The inaugural show at the space will feature 70 works previewing some of the auction house’s forthcoming sales, including the 20th-century and contemporary art evening and day sales set for November and its online-only “Phillips x Artsy: Endless Summer” sale.
Among the major lots set to hit the block in Southampton is Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 painting Portrait of A-One A.K.A King, which is estimated to sell for $10 million to $15 million at the November evening sale of 20th-century and contemporary art, along with works by Ruth Asawa, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Matthew Wong, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Nicolas Party, and others.
Portrait of A-One A.K.A King, which serves as a tribute to the famed New York graffiti artist A-One, who was also a close friend and collaborator of Basquiat, is an example of the artist’s “mark-making” and the “abstract language he creates,” Robert Manley, co-head of 20th-century and contemporary art and global chairman at Phillips, told ARTnews. The work was included in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne’s “Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines” exhibition, which opened last year and ran through March 15. The six-foot-by-six-foot work was last sold for just $18,150 more than three decades ago in a Sotheby’s New York sale, where it was acquired by the Mugrabi family. It changed hands once again to the current anonymous seller.
Phillips sold a monumental Basquiat paper on canvas work in its July 2 evening sale for $9.3 million. The piece, titled Victor 25448 (1987), was among the leading lots in that sale, second to a painting by Joan Mitchell. Basquiat’s works have cropped up at recent sales by other entities, too: Untitled (Head), 1982, achieved a new record for a work on paper by the artist at Sotheby’s in June, where it sold for $15.2 million, and former Christie’s executive Loïc Gouzer sold a $10.8 million Basquiat work on paper through his app Fair Warning two weeks ago.
Speaking generally of the new Southampton space, Manley said that it is “in many was a blank canvas” and a “multifunctional space” where Phillips plans to stage thematic exhibitions, curated auction previews, works to be offered for private sales, and other special programs and events.
“The general area of eastern Long Island has historically been a great place for artists and collectors and galleries, really dating back decades, probably more than 100 years, and Southampton is as vital as any of them,” Manley said. “Needless to say, at the moment we’re all being creative to come up with ways to interact with clients and get pictures in front of people, and there’s a very high concentration of world’s top collectors in [eastern Long Island].”