Auction Results: 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening and Day Sales, October 20 and 21, 2020 @Phillips London

In the recent London Contemporary Art sale season, Phillips was the only one of the three major auction houses to bring a meaningful selection of contemporary photography to market – both Christie’s and Sotheby’s failed to have even a single photograph in their Evening sales, and neither of their Day sale photo offerings merited a full statistical tally.

At Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art sales last week, the photography on offer performed solidly. While the top lot Wolfgang Tillmans abstraction didn’t sell, basically everything else did. With an overall Buy-In rate under 12% and one other positive surprise (an early Thomas Ruff head portrait), the Total Sale Proceeds for photography came in above £800K, above the low end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

The summary statistics are below (all results include the buyer’s premium):

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 17
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £765000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £1136000
Total Lots Sold 15
Total Lots Bought In 2
Buy In % 11.76%
Total Sale Proceeds £818900

Here is the breakdown (using our usual Low, Mid, and High price tier definitions):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 0
Total Low Lots Sold NA
Total Low Lots Bought In NA
Low Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots £0
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £0
Mid Total Lots 6
Total Mid Lots Sold 6
Total Mid Lots Bought In 0
Mid Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £106000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £119600
Total High Lots 11
Total High Lots Sold 9
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 18.18%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £1030000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £818900

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 39, Wolfgang Tillmans, Freischwimmer 27, 2003, estimated at £210000-300000; it did not sell.

The top photography outcome of the sales was lot 40, Cory Arcangel, Photoshop CS: 110 by 72 inches, 300 DPI, RGB, square pixels, default gradient ‘Spectrum’, mousedown y=23900 x=11650, mouseup y=32650 x=11650, 2009, estimated at £100000-150000, sold at £252000 (image above, via Phillips).

93.33% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there was just 1 positive surprise in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (image above, via Phillips):

Lot 256, Thomas Ruff, Portrait (J. Blum), 1989, estimated at £7000-9000, sold at £26460

The complete lot by lot results can be found here (Evening) and here (Day).

Send this article to a friend

Read more about: Cory Arcangel, Thomas Ruff, Phillips

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Articles

2024 Guggenheim Fellows in Photography

2024 Guggenheim Fellows in Photography

Here’s the list of the 2024 Guggenheim Fellowship winners in Photography (with links to their respective websites as applicable). The entire list of current fellows (in all disciplines, including the ... Read on.

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter