Features / Report

Phillips Hong Kong 2019 Spring Sales of 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design

posted 10 June 2019

Phillips Hong Kong Spring Sale 2019

23 – 25 May, 10 am – 6 pm
JW Marriot, Hong Kong

For their annual Hong Kong Spring sales of 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design this May, Phillips’ presented a compelling selection of works by a star studded roster of artists. Here is a review of some of the many highlights.

Phillips Hong Kong returns this spring auction season with two sales featuring 20th century & contemporary art, and design. The evening sale of 20th century & Contemporary Art is to include works by the likes of Zao Wou-Ki, Zhang Xiaogang, Yoshitomo Nara, Stanley Whitney and Roy Lichtenstein. Artworks by George Condo, Eddie Martinez, Yayoi Kusama, KAWS, Banksy and Tomoo Gokita, amongst others feature in the day sale. There are also several pieces from Miles and Shirley Fiterman, the sale of whose formidable collection is being spread over London, New York and Hong Kong.

1 Dana-Schutz_Boy-with-Bubble-e1558326576339.jpg

Dana Schutz, 〈Boy with Bubble〉, 2015. oil on canvas, 101.9 x 127.3cm.

Estimate HK$ 800,000 – 1,500,000 US$ 103,000 – 192,000

Reflecting the immediacy of today’s art world and the changing tastes of collectors requires some new beginnings, new names, and a willingness to recognize and act on what the market is saying. Artists who are being represented for the first time at auction in Asia – include American Dana Schutz. The delicious dark humor in her works is synthesized with an adherence to painterly technique. Inhabiting a larger than life world, her works are characterized by vibrant hues, vivid backgrounds and imbue a sense of whimsy. The Phillips evening sale includes Boy with Bubble, which was exhibited in her first solo exhibition in Canada (a 14-year retrospective at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MACM)). Commenting on her work, the artist remarked: “I was interested in this distorted view of the world through the soap bubble and this sort of moment or instant where it could all disappear.” Her works harness this sense of transience and surreality in the service of highlighting our most human weaknesses, urges and desires: destructive or otherwise.

2 Eddie-Martinez_Untitled-Evening-Sale-e1558326488595.jpg

Eddie Martinez, 〈Untitled〉, 2012. oil, enamel and spray paint on canvas, 182.9 x 152.4cm.

Estimate HK$ 700,000 – 900,000, US$ 89,700 – 115,000

There are a host of well-known names from the contemporary art world presented in the evening sale. Eddie Martinez, an artist who once described his style as “messy explosions of Picassos” is represented by Untitled from 2012. Martinez is an artist who shares Philip Guston’s willingness to break free of abstract expressionism whilst riffing on the fecund symbolism of the contemporary urban world, and comparisons with Jean-Michel Basquiat have been drawn.