NEW YORK—Phillips, de Pury & Company’s sale of contemporary art on Sept. 12, titled “Under the Influence II,” realized $1.96 million for 216 works on offer. The auction was 67 percent sold by volume, 75 percent by value. The sale combined works by both established and emerging artists and set records for 30 artists.
Contemporary art also figured prominently on Sept. 16 at the auctioneer’s first Saturday@Phillips of the season, alongside other moderately priced works, among them photographs, design and jewelry. The sale realized $795,015 for 369 lots offered. Of these, 264, or 72 percent, were sold.
The top price paid on Sept. 12, was $78,000, for Eating Buggers IIIA, 1985, by Bruce Nauman, well above the $60,000 high estimate. Then came the $49,200 given for Scirre, Eisele, Cunningham, 1998, by Glenn Brown (estimate: $50,000/70,000).
The sale also featured numerous works by Chinese contemporary artists. Records were set for Pan Xing Lei ($28,800), Yuan Guolei ($16,800), Hong Hao ($30,000) and Shen Ling ($9,600). Among newcomers to the auction market: Liu Wei, whose Hill and Water No. 2, 2005, fetched $45,600; and Feng Zeng Jie’s No. 17, 2005, which took $48,000.
The top lot of the Saturday sale was a black-and-white photograph by Laurie Simmons (b. 1949), Walking Commode, 1998, which sold for $26,400, well past the estimate of $12,000/18,000. A C-print by Candida Höfer, The Standard, Los Angeles I, 2000, took $14,400 (estimate: $12,000/18,000); and Richard Prince’s Joke, Girlfriend, Cowboy, 2001, sold for $10,800 (estimate: $5,000/7,000). Lucille Ball, 1975/2001, a C-print by Cindy Sherman—with the artist made up to look like the star—brought $9,000 (estimate: $3,500/4,500).