Art Market

Ed Clark, Peter Halley, and Noah Davis lead the way at Phillips’s $7.9-million New Now sale.

Daria Simone Harper
Mar 5, 2020 6:07PM, via Phillips

The New Now auction at Phillips on March 4, 2020. Photo courtesy Phillips.

Phillips had its best spring midseason auction of 20th-century and contemporary art on Wednesday, with its New Now sale of contemporary art in New York totaling $7.9 million, with a sell-through rate of 92 percent by lot. That result was a dramatic increase over the equivalent New Now sale last year, which totaled $5.2 million across 173 lots; Wednesday’s sale featured 195 lots, 179 of which found buyers, and nine of which set new auction records for artists.

Ed Clark, Untitled (Acylic #1), from the series “Louisiana,” 1978. Sold for $462,500. Courtesy Phillips.

Top lots

  • Ed Clark’s Untitled (Acrylic #1) (1978) was the evening’s top lot, exceeding its high estimate of $300,000 and achieving $462,000. The following lot, Untitled (1986), set a new record for a work on paper by Clark, selling for $180,000—three times its high estimate.

Peter Halley, Nowhere, 1992. Sold for $400,000. Courtesy Phillips.

  • Peter Halley’s Nowhere (1992) surpassed its high estimate of $350,000 to sell for $400,000.

Noah Davis, In Search of Gallerius Maximumianus, 2009. Sold for $400,000. Courtesy Phillips.

  • Noah Davis’s In Search of Gallerius Maximumianus (2009) set a new auction record for the late artist, who was recently the subject of a major exhibition at one of David Zwirner’s Chelsea spaces. The work vaulted past its high estimate of $80,000 to sell for $400,000.

KAWS, UNTITLED (KIMPSONS), “Package Painting” series, 2002. Sold for $350,000. Courtesy Phillips.

Among the other artists who saw new auction records set at Phillips’s Armory Week auction were Yoan Capote, whose Racional (2006) sold for $68,750, and Leonardo Drew, whose work Number 23 (1992) sold for $105,000. Other high performers included works by Richard Prince and KAWS—whose painted parody of Bart Simpson, sealed inside toy-like packaging, more than doubled its high estimate to sell for $350,000.

Further Reading: How Noah Davis Became a Powerful Painter and Museum Founder before His Death at Age 32

Daria Simone Harper