For its upcoming “New Now” sale, which focuses on emerging artists of the middle market, Phillips will sell a landscape by Nicolas Party estimated at $60,000–$80,000. Completed in 2013, the watercolor on paper has had just one owner, who acquired the work at Zurich’s Galerie Gregor Staiger. The work will hit the block on September 30 in New York.
The market for the Swiss-born, New York–based artist has gained traction on the secondary market following news of Hauser & Wirth’s representation of Party in 2019. In May of that year, Phillips set a record for the artist with the sale of a 2015 landscape for $608,000. By November, the artist’s record had moved up to the seven-figure mark. Party’s Rocks (2016) sold for $1.1 million during Christie’s Hong Kong “HI-LITE” sale, a themed auction around contemporary artists who draw inspiration from Pop. Christie’s also set the highest price for a work on paper by the artist with the sale of his 2016 landscape for $325,000 that same season. That work beat its low estimate of $100,000.
The rise in interest for Party’s works have coincided with the market’s favoring of figuration and surrealism that appeal to a large base of collectors. Party’s works have been compared to those of David Hockney, Henri Matisse, and René Magritte. Though Party’s works are seeing prices increase, the artist’s longevity on the market may eventually be negatively impacted by speculators driving up prices prematurely.
A series of recent consecutive public exhibitions have contributed to sustained interest among buyers. His first solo show with Hauser & Wirth opened at the dealer’s Los Angeles space in February before the start of the pandemic. Prior to that, he was the subject of solo surveys at the Modern Institute in Glasgow, the FLAG Art Foundation in New York, and the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C..