For its first New York sale of 2021, Phillips’s live “New Now” auction will feature 188 works by in-demand emerging artists such as Matthew Wong, Joy Labinjo, Lucas Arruda, Eric Parker, and Vaughn Spann. Scheduled to take place March 3, the sale is expected to fetch $3.8 million.
Headlining the mid-season contemporary art sale is Wong’s Lotus (2017), an orange and blue landscape that is estimated to reach $600,000. The late painter’s market remains strong following his auction debut at Sotheby’s in June, and has seen continuously escalating auction prices, particularly for his oneiric landscapes. His 2018 landscape Coming of Age sold at Christie’s this past December for $1.6 million, three times its low estimate of $500,000.
Phillips, which is known for its focus on rising talents, will offer works by artists who have yet to be seen at auction in the “New Now” sale this March. Those making their secondary-market debut include Jan-Ole Schiemann, Nikki Maloof, Brandon Landers, Raúl de Nieves, and Allison Zuckerman.
The boutique house will also use the auction to follow up on its recent success with the sale of the collection of Virginia patrons William and Pam Royall, who amassed works by Black contemporary artists and artists of the American South. At the house’s December Royall collection sale, new records were minted for Amy Sherald and Mickalene Thomas. The “New Now” sale will include a work from the Royall collection: McArthur Binion’s Looking for White: One (2013) is expected to fetch $30,000.
The sale will also feature Nam June Paik’s Gotherbot (1994), from the collection of Miami-based Cuban philanthropist Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, as well as works by Gabriel Kuri and Maria Nepomuceno from the collection of Tiroche DeLeon, which is centered on Latin American artists. Paik’s video-based sculpture is estimated at $120,000–$180,000.
Midcareer artists are also in the mix. Brooklyn-based painter Eddie Martinez has donated a work on paper to benefit RxART, a nonprofit that funds art installations and projects in children’s hospitals.
All eyes will be on a work by New Haven, Connecticut-based painter Vaughn Spann, whose 2018 painting Dalmatian (No. 3) is estimated to achieve a price of $40,000–$60,000. Phillips sold Spann’s 2019 painting Big Black Rainbow (Deep Dive) for $239,400 this past December; its high estimate was $60,000.
Another artist on the rise, British-Nigerian painter Joy Labinjo, will also be represented. Labinjo’s work has previously seen success on the block, with her 2018 painting Visiting Great Grandma hammering at $189,000 against an estimate of $10,000 this past December. And Dallas-based artist Jammie Holmes will be represented by Toy Soldier (2019), which is estimated to sell for $10,000–$15,000 in “New Now.” An untitled work by Holmes, who made headlines in June for his aerial project flying a banner with George Floyd’s final words across five U.S. cities, sold at Phillips for $94,500—more than 15 times its low estimate—in December.
Holmes and Labinjo are both still and up and coming, though their work will be sold alongside an art-world veteran whose market is still ascending. Known for merging Pop art and surrealist influences, Peter Saul’s 1968 painting Lawd is expected to achieve a price of $100,000. If it sells, it will be one of just a handful of Saul’s works ever to command such a high price at auction.