Phillips has appointed Jeremiah Evarts, formerly a director at Di Donna Galleries, as senior international specialist and deputy chairman of the house’s 20th century and contemporary art department in New York.
Phillips has long been recognized as the market leader for emerging artists. The move, which Phillips statement says, “underscores the strong global demand for modern works,” signals the house’s expansion beyond its normal focus on the ultra-contemporary. The addition of Evarts as deputy chairman, who will be tasked with spearheading modern art sales and bringing in new collectors of the category, is a coup for the boutique auction house, which faces steep competition from its larger counterparts Sotheby’s and Christie’s.
“Evarts will assume a central leadership role within the Modern team to further develop the company’s global client relationship program and continue our expansion in the Modern category,” said Jean-Paul Engelen and Robert Manley, Phillips deputy chairmen and worldwide co-heads of 20th century and contemporary art, in a joint statement.
Evarts has assumed his new role at Phillips after leaving his previous post at Di Donna in New York, where he served as director for three years. Prior to that, he was senior vice president and head of Impressionist and modern art evening sales at Sotheby’s in New York from 2004 to 2017. During his 14-year tenure at Sotheby’s, he oversaw the sale of Bunny Mellon’s collection, as well as auctions of works from the collections of Ralph C. Wilson, Barbara and Martin Zweig, and the Finn family. Under Evarts’s direction, the sale team achieved auction records for Auguste Rodin ($20.4 million), Camille Pissarro ($32.1 million), and Marc Chagall ($28.5 million).