Each season, Phillips generates records for rising talent during its New York “New Now” sale, which is mainly devoted to in-demand emerging artists. This week, new benchmarks were set for 32 artists, including Amanda Baldwin, Ángeles Agrela, Alteronce Gumby, and Raelis Vasquez, with bidding dominated primarily by European and U.S. collectors.
Together, the sales brought in a collective $8.4 million with buyer’s premium across 222 lots. Without premium, the sale failed to surpass its high estimate of $7.3 million, reaching a $6.7 million hammer low estimate in the end.
Though the highest prices were for artists like George Condo and Yayoi Kusama, who are established and already have a market following, Phillips specialists are more focused on artists who are still gaining traction.
Below, a look at the works from Phillips’s New York “New Now” sale that saw the most competition among bidders.
Laurens Legiers, Four Ships, 2020
Sold for $44,100
The 28-year-old Belgian painter Lauren Legiers, whose work draws on European painting styles from the 19th century, made his auction debut at Phillips this week. Legiers cut his teeth at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, and has recently caught the attention the market. At Phillips, his muted painting Four Ships (2020), featuring four vessels drift a still seascape, sold for $44,100 with premium, 4 times its estimate of $5,000.
Emily Ludwig Shaffer, Bay Leaf Wrapped Night, 2018
Sold for $40,320
Emily Ludwig Shaffer’s work routinely draws on flattened architectural elements and pods of natural vegetation that are often rendered in and eery combinations. Painted in 2018, a year after Shaffer received an M.F.A. from Columbia University, Bay Leaf Wrapped Night depicts a boxed organic form that appears almost like a digital image, whose leaves unfold to a night-time moon-lit scene. At Phillips, the painting generated a sum of $40,320, surpassing its estimate of $5,000 by a factor of eight times.
Louis Fratino, Grapefruit Breakfast, 2017
Sold for $277,200
Among the lots that far outpaced expectations was an intimate figurative scene by the 29-year-old Louis Fratino, whose work has drawn praise for its explicitly queer subject matter and comparisons to Pierre Bonnard and Max Beckmann for its style. Before hitting auction block this on Wednesday, his painting Grapefruit Breakfast, a domestic scene in which two nude young men are seated together at a kitchen table, featured in the artist’s solo exhibition at New York’s Thierry Goldberg gallery in 2017. At Phillips, it sold for $277,200, more than double its low estimate.
Wes Lang, The Unity Within, 2017
Sold for $252,000
The Los Angeles–based painter Wes Lang, who has previously collaborated with the rapper Kanye West, stood out among the other mid-career artists in this sale. A former Guggenheim art handler whose work has spurred admiration from Damien Hirst, Lang is known for imagery that takes its cues from Westerns and Pop art. In addition to having his art imaged on clothes by West’s brand YEEZY, he’s been active in the fashion circuit recently, partnering with the street wear brand Amiri for the launch of their autumn-winter 2022 collection after wrapping a solo showcase at Almine Rech gallery earlier this year. During the Phillips sale on Wednesday, Lang’s rust-red canvas The Unity Within, depicting a skeletal figure in traditional Indigenous garb on horseback, set a new record for the artist when it sold for $252,000. The result surpassed its estimate of $50,000.
Ivy Haldeman, Tongue, 2017
Sold for $52,920
Hunger is growing for Ivy Haldeman’s paintings of anthropomorphic hot dogs. Last year, Haldeman’s Two Suits, Wrist Bent, Cuff to Pocket (Mauve, Peach), which was displayed in a 2019 Capsule Shanghai exhibition, had been estimated to sell for $20,000–$30,000 at auction; it ended up generating $138,000. Momentum around her only seems to be growing, with a show currently on view at Shanghai’s Yuz Museum. Tongue, the painting in the “New Now” sale, did not sell for a price quite so high as the one for Two Suits, but it still saw a flurry of bidding. A cropped view of a figure who prepares to the turn the page of a book while stretching out its leg, the painting sold for $52,920. The result was more than five times its estimate of $5,000.
Amanda Baldwin, Open Window, Pear Table, 2018
Sold for $52,920
Amanda Baldwin’s clinical still lifes and landscapes draw on centuries-old art-historical genres, much in the way that the art of many fashionable market stars does. On the heels of her first solo show in Europe, at Galerie Marugo’s Paris outpost in 2021, Baldwin is on the rise. Open Window, Pear Table was among the lots in Phillips sale by emerging artists that spurred the most competition. It pulled in $52,920, selling for five times its $10,000 estimate, and was won by a bidder in Asia. The work surpassed her previous auction record of $17,657, set in 2022 during a Christie’s sale.
Ana Benaroya, Be My Baby, 2019
Sold for $115,920
The Phillips sale marked the auction debut of the New York–based painter Ana Benaroya, who’s known for depicting female figures that seem monstrous. The recent subject of a solo showcase at New York’s Venus Over Manhattan, Benaroya appears to now be closely watched. At the sale, Benaroya’s 2019 painting Be My Baby, featuring three muscular blondes that recall the pop-rock trio the Ronettes, sold for $115,920 to a bidder based in Asia. That’s more than five times its estimate of $20,000.
Danielle Orchard, Seated Woman, 2020
Sold for $176,400
Fast-rising painter Danielle Orchard’s 2020 painting Seated Woman sold for $176,000, around five times its estimate of $30,000. It’s one of 12 works by the artist that have come to auction already, and it follows other succeses on the block. In June, one of her paintings fetched $175,565 at Phillips Hong Kong, more than triple its $50,000 high estimate. Orchard recently joined Perrotin, and according to the gallery, her work now has considerable waitlists.
Angela Heisch, Morning Holes, 2019
Sold for $44,100
The Brooklyn-based painter Angela Heisch has been on the rise after joining Grimm gallery’s roster, with a New York solo show forthcoming. At Phillips this week, Heisch’s Morning Holes, a yellow-toned canvas featuring overlapping circular forms, surpassed its $7,000 low estimate by a substantial margin, selling for a total of $44,100 with premium. The result was still shy of the artist’s previous benchmark of $50,400 set at Phillips in March, however.
Pat Phillips, Untitled (A Horse With No Name), 2019
Sold for $63,000
Pat Phillips, whose works explore themes related to incarceration and violence, often draws on his roots in the American South. He came to the wider attention of the art world in 2019, when he showed at the Whitney Biennial. This week, the artist’s 2019 painting Untitled (A Horse With No Name), in which a pair of arms grips a toy horse, sold at Phillips for $63,000, eight times the $8,000 low estimate. It was hardly a shabby auction debut for the artist.