Signalling both the increasing wingspan of the Phillips team and the growing value of the middle market, Phillips day sale yesterday reached a high point for the auction house with $34.7m in art sold and a bevy of records for artists like Ed Clark, Rashid Johnson and Stanley Whitney.
Sotheby’s June sale of Modern and Post-War Contemporary British art will feature a LS Lowry painting, A Cricket Match that last sold 23 years ago at the auction house when it set a record for the artist. Then it sold for £282,000. This June 18 it will be offered with an estimate of £800,000 – 1,200,000. Here’s Sotheby’s release:
One of Britain’s best-loved artists, L.S. Lowry turned his paintbrush to cricket on no more than a handful of occasions. The painting will first be unveiled at The Lowry in Salford – not far from the Old Trafford Cricket Ground. The special five-day view at The Lowry precedes a glorious summer of cricket with the much-anticipated ICC Cricket World Cup, with major venues across England and Wales, including Old Trafford, set to host fixtures. A Cricket Match will then return to London for the pre-sale exhibition in New Bond Street from 14 – 17 June.
Lowry’s interest in sporting occasions was always about the spectacle and the crowds that even informal matches drew. Cricket, as much as football, was at the heart of Lancashire life in the 1930s and so it is surprising that the subject only makes a few appearances in Lowry’s oeuvre. Indeed, Lowry painted a formal cricket match just once. Here, the landscape could not be further removed from that of the hallowed turf at Old Trafford. Instead, the match plays out on an uneven waste ground, framed by a large dilapidated tenement building with broken and boarded up windows. Painted in an almost ghostly pale pink, the structure has an exquisitely haunting presence – a ghostly counterpoint to the grand Victorian pavilion at Old Trafford.
A Cricket Match comes from the collection of Neil and Gina Smith. Although based in America, where he met Gina, Neil was born and raised in Greater Manchester. Further paintings from their cherished collection, including works by John Constable and Pieter Brueghel the Younger, will be offered in our Old Master sales in London on 3 – 4 July. There will also be a dedicated, single-owner sale of their collection of fine English furniture and silver on 3 July.
Jean-Paul Engelen discusses Phillips’s position in the new global auction marketplace, its recent additions of highly experienced specialists in Impressionst, Modern and American art, and the new exhibition space, “The Cube,” at 432 Park Avenue.
Jean-Paul Engelen is the Deputy Chairman and Worldwide Co-Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art. He joined Phillips in August of 2015 and is based in New York.
With over two decades of market experience and working with artists, Engelen was Director of Public Art Programs at Qatar Museums beginning in 2011. In this role he was responsible for a significant public art installation program, the establishment of an Artist in Residence program and space, and Contemporary Art exhibitions and working with contemporary artists on notable exhibitions including Damien Hirst, Richard Serra, Cai Guo Qiang, and Takashi Murakami.
Engelen also oversaw over three dozen site-specific public art installations including “East West West East” by Richard Serra, “The Miraculous Journey” by Damien Hirst, “Salwa Road Murals” by eL Seed, and “Untitled (Playground)” by Tom Otterness.