de Pury & Luxembourg changed its name earlier this year to
Phillips de Pury & Company because Daniella Luxembourg resigned
to concentrate on private deals. She had been a partner of Simon
de Pury for several years and her departure was viewed by some
observers as yet another "negative" for the auction
house that several years ago took on the big boys - Sotheby's
and Christie's - with the backing of Bernard Arnault, the chairman
of LVMH, the French luxury goods concern. Mr. Arnault subsequently
sold off much of his interest in the auction house. Ms. Luxembourg
attended the Christie's and Sotheby's auctions this week and this
auction as well.
had spent a lot of money and had made big inroads in the major
auction business in New York but a diastrous Impressionist Art
auction led it to withdraw from that major market and late last
year it also closed its American Paintings Department after a
lackluster sale that had followed several excellent auctions.
de Pury now concentrates on Contemporary Art, Twentieth Century
Design and Photography and this Contemporary Art auction was viewed
by many in the industry as critical to its future.
It was very
successful with 93.74 percent of the 63 offered lots selling,
which was better than the 90 percent sold by Christie's but not
as good as the 100 percent sold by Sotheby's earlier this week.
Like Sotheby's, Phillips de Pury's auction also exceeded its high
estimate selling a total $17,768,800 against a pre-sale high estimate
of $17,470,000. Such an achievement is rare although the sale's
total paled in comparison with Christie's $104 million and Sotheby's
$64 million in contemporary art auctions this week.
Pury said after the auction that "it's been a very exciting
week," adding that Phillips de Pury "benefitted from
all the momentum in the strong market" by being the last
auction house to hold Contemporary Art auctions. "Its a very,
very strong market," he continued, "we've never gotten
some many phone bidders in advance of tomorrow's day auction...and
some contemporary art galleries in Chelsea have sold everything
before their opening."
set auction records for 11 artists, more than Sotheby's and less
than Christie's this week.
Lot 5, "Electric
Earth (Linear Version), a CAV plastic laserdisc with CX and encoded
audio by Doug Aitkin (b. 1968), sold for $114,000, including the
buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article, breaking
the artist's former auction record of $45,000 set at Sotheby's
November 13, 2003.
"My Name," an acrylic and silkscreen on canvas by Richard
Prince (b. 1949), sold for $747,200, shatting the artist's former
auction of $460,500 set at Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg
November 13, 2003.
"Young Boys, an oil on canvas by Marlene Dumas (b. 1953),
sold for $993,600, considerably over the former auction record
of $634,700 set earlier in the week at Christie's New York.
Gewohnheitstier 5, a bronze by Rosemarie Trockel (b. 1952), sold
for $102,000, nicely over the artist's former auction record of
$68,040 set at Phillips, de Pury and Luxembourg November 13, 2003.
"Untitled (W26A-E)," an enamel on aluminum in five parts
by Christopher Wool (b. 1955), sold for $848,000, more than double
the artist's former auction record of $420,500 set at Christie's
New York May 19, 1999.
"Hochofen (Blast Furnaces)," 22 gelatin silver prints
by Bernd and Hilla Becher (b. 1931 and 1934), sold for $176,000,
breaking the artist's former auction record of $160,000 set at
Christie's New York, November 15, 2001.
"Serif," an emulsion on hardboard by Bridget Riley (b.
1931), sold for $792,000, soaring above the artist's prior auction
of $792,000 set at Sotheby's London Februry 6, 2003.
"The Head's The Same as Between The Legs," symmetrical
sets, triptych, acrylic on paper in artist's frame with green
plexiglass by Mike Kelley (b. 1958), sold for $176,000, slightly
over the artist's former auction record of $167,500 set at Christie's
New York November 16, 1999.
"I Am Yours," a wool felt piece by Arturo Herrera (b.
1959), sold for $57,600, breaking the artist's former auction
record of $33,460 set at Christie's New York, November 18, 2003.
"Selma Mustajbasic," a marble by Marc Quinn (b. 1964),
sold for $102,000, breaking the artist's former auction record
of $63,624 set at Christie's London October 8, 1998.
"The Plant, Square Cushion and Divider," rubber by Peter
Fischli and David Weiss (b. 1952 amd 1946), sold for $164,800,
breaking the artists' former auction record of $94,581 set at
Sotheby's London February 7, 2003.
"Blue Heads" is an impressive painting by Jean-Michel
Basquiat (1961-1988). An acrylic and oilstick on canvas it measures
72 by 117 inches and was executed in 1983. It has an estimate
of $1,800,000 to $2,500,000. It sold for $2,024,000, the highest
price of the evening.
illustration of the catalogue is Lot 8, "Mini-me," a
resin, rubber, hair and paint sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan (b.
1960). Executed in 1999, it has an estimate of $200,000 to $250,000.
It sold for $355,200. The droll figure was placed on a high perch
behind the auctioneer's rostrum.
Cattelan work is Lot 52, a taxidermed cow with handlebars from
a Vespa motorscooter substituting for its ears. The sculpture
measures 90 1/2 by 56 1/8 by 63 inches. It was executed in 1998.
It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $299,200.
Lot 28 is
a very strong work by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) entitled "Crosses."
A synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen on canvas that measures
90 by 70 inches, it was executed in 1982. It has an estimate of
$500,000 to $700,000 and sold for $792,000.
Lot 23 is
an untitled acrylic on vinyl tarp by Keith Haring (1958-1990).
It measures 108 by 109 1/8 inches. It was executed in 1982. It
has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. It sold for $478,400.
"Slieve Roe," is a v-shaped metallic powder in polymer
emulsion on canvas by Frank Stella (b. 1936). It measures 78 by
89 inches and was executed in 1964. It has an estimate of $600,000
to $800,000. It sold for $926,400.
"Kay-Eye-Double-S," by Edward Ruscha (b. 1937) is a
22-by-79 3/4-inch oil on canvas that was executed in 1979. It
has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It sold for $293,600.
beautiful work in the auction is Lot 37, "Concerto Spaziale
(Venezia d'Argento)," by Lucio Fontana (1899-1968). The silver
paint and colored stones on canvas measures 21 1/4 by 25 1/2 inches
and was executed in 1961. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000
and sold for $355,200.
"fun" object in the auction is Lot 50, "Dob's March,"
by Takashi Murakami (b. 1962). The Japanese has become extremely
popular in American auctions the past couple of years but not
all of his work is consistent and this unique work is perhaps
the most pleasing to have been offered yet. It has an estimate
of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $44,400.