The London-based auction house Phillips has gained a reputation as the go-to venue to acquire works by emerging artists in high demand on the primary market. Each season, the New York day and evening sales at Phillips typically generate records for rising talent, and last week, that was certainly the case. At those sales, new benchmarks were set for 26 artists, including Cinga Samson, Avery Singer, Titus Kaphar, Julie Curtiss, and Kehinde Wiley. Together, thee sales brought in a collective $153 million with buyer’s premium across 324 lots, surpassing the $101 million hammer low estimate.
Phillips specialists have been vocal about tapping increased fervor among collectors for works by emerging and mid-career women artists and artists of color. Relative to their Western male peers, these artists have long been under-represented in the institutions around the world. “There was a lot of intentionality in going after under-represented artists,” Robert Manley, Phillips’s deputy chairman and worldwide co-head of 20th- and 21st-century art sales, told ARTnews last week.
But which artists are at the top of collectors’ lists? Below, a look at the works from Phillips’s New York sales that saw the most competition among bidders.