Phillips has appointed Tobias Sirtl, formerly a post-war and contemporary art specialist at Christie’s, as a specialist in the house’s 20th Century & Contemporary Art department. Sirtl’s new position will be based in Munich.
“Germany is one of the most important cultural capitals of the world,” said Cheyenne Westphal, Phillips global chairwoman in a statement, adding that, “Tobias has a deep understanding of the art market and his appointment will help to further strengthen Phillips’ presence and expand our client network across this important region.”
Sirtl assumes his new role at Phillips after leaving his previous post at Christie’s in Munich where he served for three years beginning in July 2017. Sirtl served as a director and specialist in Phillips contemporary art and photographs department in New York and London from 2006 to 2010, joining in Berlin two years earlier as an office manager. Outside of his auction experience, he served as a director at two Berlin galleries: Arratia Beer from 2016 to 2017, and before that, at ARNDT Gallery from 2010 to 2016.
Along with the news of Sirtl’s appointment, Phillips says the house is seeking to expand in the regional hub. “The southern region of Germany, with its largest metropolitan areas Munich, Stuttgart and Nuremberg, has a longstanding tradition of collecting and supporting art,” Sirtl told Art Market Monitor. “This is being reflected in the public collections such as the Pinakotheken, the Lenbachhaus in Munich, and the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, but also in important private collections, such as the Sammlung Goetz,” he added.
“Munich has always had a vivid gallery scene, with some strong additions in recent years, such as Sperling, Deborah Schamoni and Nir Altmann representing cutting edge young artists, or Jahn und Jahn, which builds upon the galleries’ long history, combining established and younger positions,” said Sirtl.
Reporting to Olivia Thornton, Phillips head of 20th century and contemporary art in Europe, he will join regional representative Alice Trier, a specialist in contemporary art based in Germany, who has been making inroads with collectors in the region since 2017. “Phillips plays an integral part in the contemporary art scene,” said Sirtl. “It is important for Phillips to be fully represented here as well.”