By Carter B. Horsley
The evening Contemporary Art auction at Phillips
de Pury November 15, 2007 is highlighted by a superb late abstraction
by Willem de Kooning, and good works by Richard Prince, Cecily
Brown, James Rosenquist, Daniel Richter, Julian Schnabel, David
Salle, Sui Jianguo, Yue Minjun,
and Tim Noble and Sue Webster.
Lot 46 is a large and good abstraction by Willem
de Kooning (1904-1997) entitled "Untitled XVI." An oil
and charcoal on canvas, it measures 80 by 70 inches and was painted
in 1982. It has an estimate of $5,000,000 to $7,000,000. It
sold for $5,865,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results
mentioned in this sale.
The sale was reasonably successful with
69 by the 82 offered lots selling for a total of $42,316,000 including
the buyers' premiums.
The auction has works by Richard
Prince (b. 1949), the subject of a current retrospective exhibition
at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Lot 29, "Registered
Nurse," is an inkjet print and acrylic on canvas that measures
64 by 42 inches. It was executed in 2002 and has an estimate of
$1,500,000 to $2,500,000. It sold for $4,297,000.
Lot 8 is a bright "YE$"
work by Tim Noble (b. 1966) and Sue Webster (b. 1967) that was
created in 2001. It measures 58 1/4 by 115 1/2 by 10 inches.
"YE$," the catalogue
notes, "is stunning in its effective simplicity: bold, daring
and evocative, the sculpture possesses the essence of what makes
Las Vegas tick: the artists demonstrate an uncanny ability, especially
for non-natives, to distill the aesthetic of the city. What is
more, this clambering for bold expression is also a central element
to their artistic core, an audacious thread that has garnered
them much notoriety throughout their career."
It has an estimate of $400,000
to $600,000. It sold for $541,000.
Lot 35 is a large and strong
work by Daniel Richter (b. 1962). Entitled "Giddi On,"
it is an oil, ink, tape and lacquer on canvas that measures 115
3/4 by 134 inches. Executed in 2002, it has an estimate of $350,000
to $450,000. It failed to sell.
Another large and impressive
work by Richter is entitled "Verdigris (the carrot is finished)."
An oil and lacquer on canvas, it measures 113 1/2 by 116 inches
and was painted in 2002. The catalogue notes that the work is
"tense and looming in its mood" and "states its
subsistence through the quirky, lurid, turbulent pigment and evocative
symbols." It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. It
sold for $481,000.
The auction has two strong
works by James Rosenquist (b. 1933). Lot 56 is an untitled oil
on canvas laid down on panel that measures 80 by 66 inches. It
was painted in 1990 and has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.
It sold for $481,000.
Lot 24, "Coup d'oeil (Glance),
is a 74-by-64-inch oil on canvas laid down on panel that was created
by Rosenquist in 2001. It is part of his "Speed of Light"
series that began in 1999 in which the artist "articulates
changed perceptions at incredible speeds...with precisely and
illusionistically painted reflective elements producing vibrations
and a ricochet effect." The lot has an estimate of $250,00
to $350,000. It sold for $337,000.
Lot 25 is a large and luscious
oil on linen by Cecily Brown (b. 1969) that is entitled "The
Girl Who Had Everything." It measures 90 1/2 by 110 inches
and was painted in 1998. "The voluptuous surfaces and explosive
brushwork of her paintings build phantasmagoric scenes of tumultuous
revelries as figures fervently yet lyrically metamorphosize or
just dissolve into paint," the catalogue correctly observices,
adding that "Brown's feminine perspective inverts the expected
male brazenness and voyeuristic gaze." The lot has an estimate
of $600,000 to $800,000. It sold for $1,105,000.
Lot 59 is a very good acrylic
and oil on canvas in two parts by David Salle (b. 1952). It measures
94 by 136 inches and was executed in 1986. It has an estimate
of $250,000 to $350,000. It sold for $385,000.
Lot 58 is "Untitled (911
Painting)," by Julian Schnabel (b. 1951). An oil on resin
on canvas in artist's wooden frame, it measures 90 by 84 inches
and was painted in 2001. It has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000.
It sold for $265,000.
Lot 42 is a "classic"
laughing face" picture by Yue Minjun (b. 1962). Entitled
"I am Chinese," it is an oil on canvas that measures
80 5/8 by 78 3/4 inches and was executed in 2001. It has an estimate
of $1,200,000 to $1,800,000. It sold for $1,273,000.
Lot 74 is a group of five brightly
colored fiberglass jackets by Sui Jianguo (b. 1956). Each is 24
1/2 by 19 by 12 inches. The work was from an edition of ten created
in 2005. It has an estimate of $120,000 to $180,000. It sold