Contemporary Art

On the Block: What to Watch the Week of June 20

Head to Hong Kong and watch the Ultra-Contemporary reign supreme

This week there are two sales at Phillips in Hong Kong. Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale will take place on Tuesday, June 21st at midnight (for us here on the east coast of the US). Like any respectable sale in 2022, the opening lot is by Anna Weyant, and there is plenty of Kerwick and Nava to go around. At the top end of the price spectrum, there is a 2015 still life by Nicolas Party being offered with a $636,944 estimate. As LiveArt reported, Party’s price momentum is showing few signs of slowing down, and his still lifes are particularly in demand. Another artist with a request on the LiveArt Exchange, Danielle Orchard has a multi-figure interior scene coming up onto the block. The 2020 painting is being offered with an estimate of $38,217, but a smaller multi-figure scene that does not have Orchard’s signature treatment of interiors sold in March for $138,600. 

In the realm of abstraction, Phillips is offering a 2005 painting by Korean minimalist Park Seo-bo with an estimate of $152,867. White Cube and Perrotin included his works in their Basel offerings. Collector demand combined with a healthy supply has fueled the Korean’s market momentum over the past seven or so years. With the exception of Park and a few other names, this sale largely comprises Ultra-Contemporary artworks, which makes the selective labeling of lots as ULTRA/NEO by the auction house a bit random (see, for example, Nava in the evening sale).

The following day on Wednesday, June 22nd, Phillips will hold their 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale at 6 am EDT. Near the beginning of the sale, the second work to come to auction from Lucy Bull will appear. The 2020 panoramic painting is being offered with a $127,389 estimate. Her auction debut, a 2019 painting on a much smaller scale, sold at Sotheby’s in May for $907,200, more than fifteen times its estimate. Anna Park’s auction debut lot will be a 2019 work in charcoal. Though it has a $38,217 estimate, her works are trading for six-figure-sums privately. Phillips is also offering a 2003 painting by Outtara Watts with a $101,911 estimate. The provenance lists the work as purchased from Karma, who just last week closed a solo show of Watts’s work.  

In addition to these jam-packed Hong Kong sales, there will also be an online sale at Christie’s beginning on June 21st at 2 pm EDT. First Open: Post-War and Contemporary Art Online includes works by Flora Yukhnovich, Foster Sakyiamah, and Oluwole Omofemi among its 130-plus lots.

Peruse the rest of the artworks in these sales alongside fifty-plus years of historical auctions data and easy-to-read results on the LiveArt app and web, available in the Apple App Store, through Google Play, or on your desktop browser.

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