Warhol Enlivens Phillips Evening Sale


Last night’s contemporary art sale at New York auctioneer Phillips totaled $78.6 million, falling short of the evening’s high estimate of $110 million. The undisputed star of the evening, Andy Warhol, accounted for three of the evening’s top 10 sales, with his silkscreen painting Four Marilyns (1962) ringing in at $38.2 million. The house found buyers for 31 of the 38 lots offered.

The sale came after a week full of record-setting at the New York auction houses, including a $294-million sale at Sotheby’s on Tuesday and Wednesday’s gangbusters sale at Christie’s, where nearly half a billion dollars worth of art changed hands.

At Phillips, Christopher Wool rounded out an already-successful week on the auction block with the second-priciest sale of the evening. His word painting And If (1992) went for just over $4 million. Wool also scored the auction’s 10th-highest sale with an untitled 1999 canvas that slightly exceeded estimates at close to $1.7 million.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein and Thomas Schütte rounded out the top five sales, with winning bids hovering just over $4 million for each work.