Art Market

Works by Salman Toor, Banksy, and Eddie Martinez led Phillips’s “New Now” sale.

Justin Kamp
Dec 16, 2020 10:52PM, via Phillips

Salman Toor, Liberty Porcelain (2012). Courtesy Phillips.

Phillips’s “New Now” sale closed in London yesterday, achieving £3.8 million ($5 million) in total sales, the highest ever achieved by the category in London. The auction saw 172 out of 215 lots find buyers for a sell-through rate of 80 percent by lot.

Works by Salman Toor, Banksy, and Eddie Martinez led the auction. Toor’s 2012 canvas was the top lot of the evening, soaring past its high estimate of £60,000 ($80,100) to sell for £378,000 ($504,000), nabbing the third highest auction result for a work by the artist, who made his debut on the secondary market in October of this year. An edition of Banksy’s iconic Girl With Balloon (2004) followed, selling for £189,000 ($252,300) above a high estimate of £150,000 ($200,200). Eddie Martinez’s Skullscape 3 (large) (2012) rounded out the top three results, achieving £163,800 ($218,600) above a high estimate of £120,000 ($160,200).

The sale also saw new auction records set for works by The Connor Brothers, Neil Stokoe, and Michael Sailstorfer, among others. The Connor Brothers’s Two works: (i) The Truth Is Like Poetry; (ii) Study for The truth is Like Poetry (2018) sold for £40,300 ($53,800), beating out their previous record of HK$350,000 ($44,600) set in 2019. The British duo, who had the eighth-highest number of bidders at auctions on Artsy in 2020, have been the subject of an explosion in interest on the platform over the past three years, according to Artsy data. Between 2018 and 2020, the number of artworks by the duo published on the platform increased by nearly 158 percent. Over the same period, the number of inquirers on their work increased by 282 percent.

Simon Tovey, Head of New Now, said in a statement:

What a way to end the season, with the highest total for a New Now sale in London. In true New Now style last night six artists made their debut onto the secondary market and seven auction records were achieved, all of which were supported by a great depth of bidding from over 600 participants from across 47 countries. It was an honour to offer and sell 100% of the works donated by renowned contemporary artists to benefit The Yinka Shonibare Foundation and we are delighted to see £252,720 raised for that fantastic cause. Despite the various headwinds, this season has been a triumph and we look forward to continuing this momentum into 2021.
Justin Kamp