Fine Art
8 min read

Phillips’ Modern & Contemporary Art Sale to Feature works by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, George Condo, Chris Ofili, Lubaina Himid

Published on
June 13, 2024
Sharon Obuobi
Editor in Chief
Akosua Kissiedu
Business Intelligence Editor
Hai Ngan Bui
Business Intelligence Writer
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LONDON – 13 JUNE 2024 – Phillips just announced highlights from the London Modern & Contemporary Art Evening & Day Sale on 27 June. Featuring a dynamic blend of Modern and 20th-century masters alongside cutting-edge contemporary artworks, the sale showcases the remarkable diversity of the category. Leading the auction are works from Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, George Condo, Chris Ofili, and Lubaina Himid’s The Bird Seller: Are You Listening, the first painting by the artist to be offered at auction. The Modern section of the sale includes a rare late example of Camille Pissarro’s fan paintings on silk. Additional highlights feature works by Marina Perez Simão, Huma Bhabha, Andy Warhol, and David Hockney.

Minotaur to Matador, painted in 2022 [estimate: £900,000 – 1,500,000], by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is the largest triptych by the artist to ever come to market. Possessing remarkable narrative power, the work is an exceptional example of Yiadom-Boakye’s painterly fluency and masterful command of colour and tone.

Coming to auction from the same private collection, Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid’s The Bird Seller: Are You Listening, is a playful example of the artist’s exploration of themes related to cultural history and identity, characterised by bold patterns and luminous hues. A member of the Black Arts Movement of the 1980s, Himid’s work is politically critical, tackling questions of race, gender and class with wit and elegance.

Lubaina Himid, The Bird Seller: Are You Listening, 2021 | Estimate: £300,000 - 500,000

A highlight of the sale is George Condo's striking 2018 composition Green and Purple Head Composition. Part of the artist’s pivotal Drawing Paintings series, the present work features frenetic, fluorescent strokes of charcoal and pastel, radiating energy through its multi-layered surface. Condo’s distinctive visual language combines profound art historical references with Cubist and Expressionist influences, to produce unique and often playful paintings which explore themes of superficiality, consumerism, and hyper-individualism.

George Condo, Green and Purple Head Composition, 2018 | Estimate: £700,000 - 900,000

Coming to auction from a distinguished private collection, Chris Ofili’s Triple Eye Vision is a large-scale, textured painting that echoes his 1999 work, Third Eye Vision. Dense and highly patterned, this painting showcases Ofili’s mastery of materials through the combination of acrylic, oil, paper collage, glitter polyester resin, map pins, and elephant dung on linen. Ofili's incorporation of elephant dung, a practice inspired by his 1992 trip to Africa, adds dynamic energy to his work, combining formal training and natural landscape influences that have become synonymous with his work. Inspired by the red, black, and green triband symbol, representing African and diasporic identity and solidarity, Ofili's use of these colours highlights his focus on exploring themes of the contemporary and historical Black experience.

Leading the sale’s offerings of ultra contemporary works is Marina Perez Simão's Untitled, exemplifying the artist’s bold, vibrant landscapes that are inspired by her Brazilian upbringing. Simão’s work belongs to a wave of gestural, painterly and chromatically brilliant painting by a range of exciting contemporary artists including Francesca Mollet, Jadé Fadojutimi, and Michaela Yearwood-Dan, whose large-scale 2021 composition That your lovin’ makes it better opens the sale. Other highlights include Huma Bhabha’s cork and Styrofoam Baalbek, coming to auction concurrently with the artist’s contribution to the Julie Mehretu retrospective currently on view at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.

Marina Perez Simão, Untitled, 2021, Estimate: £60,000 - 80,000

Among the Modern highlights of the sale is La Sieste aux champs, painted by Camille Pissarro. This painting was created as a wedding gift for Jeanne Durand-Ruel, daughter of Pissarro’s dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, to celebrate her marriage to Albert Dureau in September 1893. Signed by Pissarro and dedicated to Jeanne Durand-Ruel, this work is one of 70 fan-shaped paintings the artist produced in the late 1800s. Other notable works featured in the Modern section of the sale include a landscape by André Derain, once part of notable collector Erik Estorick’s collection and a still life by Maurice de Vlaminck from the Bakwin Family collection.

Andreas Gursky's large-scale panorama Los Angeles exemplifies his fascination with collective existence and urban transformation, pushing the boundaries of perceived reality and reimagining the ‘City of Angels’. Born in Leipzig in 1955 and later relocating to West Germany, Gursky's early exposure to photography in his father's studio set the stage for his future career. Coming to auction from an important private collection, the present work showcases Gursky's use of digital manipulation to enhance formal elements. Captured at night, the image reduces the urban sprawl to a glowing web under a deep black sky, evoking the landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich.

Andreas Gursky, Los Angeles, 1998, Estimate: £400,000 - 600,000

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