Specialist Picks from Phillips’s Summer School Auction

Artsy Specialist
Jun 29, 2018 1:27PM

Summer School is back by popular demand. Co-curated by Phillips and Artsy, this online-only auction is designed for easy collecting, giving you the opportunity to take home sought-after artworks at affordable price points.

To help guide your search, we asked specialists from Phillips and Artsy to share their favorite pieces in the sale. From Ugo Rondinone’s stacked sculptures to Vija Celmins’s meticulous seascapes, these works represent some of the most exciting trends in contemporary art—and are open for bidding until June 11th.

Katherine Bernhardt

Estimated value: $2,000–2,500

Bernhardt is celebrated for her 21st-century still lifes. In one of her tableaus, you might spot Dorito chips, Nike shoes, and even toilet paper rolls effortlessly floating in a brightly-painted backdrop. “This printer’s proof from an unreleased series of editions is a great dive into the artist’s growing market,” explains Kip Eischen, Phillips’s Specialist in Editions. “It features splashing turtles and ripe bananas—and was originally created for the infamous Bahamas Ocean Club, a resort on Paradise Island featured in the James Bond reboot Casino Royale.”

Ugo Rondinone

Estimated value: $10,000–15,000

While many of Rondinone’s stone sculptures are larger than life, this black-and-green rendition is a home-friendly 19 inches tall. (For context, Nevada’s Seven Magic Mountains (2016) rises 35 feet in the air, while Miami Mountain (2016) is another six feet taller.) “With this work, you are really getting a monumental sculpture that will fit your tabletop,” notes Artsy Specialist Erin Kim. “And I love that the artist found inspiration in the meditative practice of balancing stones.”

Jim Dine

Estimated value: $2,000–3,000 each

“Jim Dine is arguably known as much for his prolific printmaking output as for his iconic painting oeuvre,” says Jason Osborne, Phillips’s Cataloguer in Editions. These floral prints—highlights of Dine’s The History of Gardening series—combine the dark, rich lines of etching with the bold, painterly touch of hand-coloring. “Dine’s hand-coloring has a confident liveliness,” explains Osborne. “These scenes even grow out of the edges of the plate and into the margins.”

Vija Celmins

ESTIMATED VALUE: $7,000–10,000

This Latvian-born, Los Angeles-based artist is known for spending long nights in her studio, capturing the details of ocean tides, desert landscapes, spiderwebs, and starry skies. While Celmins rarely strays from her reference photographs, this screenprint features an added abstract touch: two faint lines that form an “x” shape across the paper. “You’ll likely be hearing more from Celmins in the coming months,” hints Artsy Specialist Eleonora Leo. A retrospective of her work will open later this year at SFMOMA, before traveling to the Met Breuer in 2019.

Carlos Martiel

Estimated value: $2,000–3,000

Martiel employs durational (and often physically-taxing) performances to draw attention to fraught political histories and the human experience today. “In Prodigal Son, Martiel pins medals awarded to his father by the Cuban government to his bare skin, symbolizing the physical sacrifices made by the Cuban people and unimaginable power held by the Cuban government,” explains Kaeli Deane, Head of Latin American Art at Phillips. “This work represents the rising star’s first time at public auction, but undoubtedly it will not be his last.”

Paul Winstanley

Estimated value: $6,000–8,000

“Winstanley is perhaps one of the most underrated yet accomplished mid-career painters in the current auction market,” says Patrizia Koenig, a researcher and writer at Phillips. Influenced by classical painters like Johannes Vermeer, Winstanley works in a soft, hyperrealistic style to capture uninhabited spaces, such as waiting rooms, airports, and hiking trails. This misty landscape captures the painter’s quietly powerful touch—and, at 63 by 59 inches, it’s large enough to fully transport the viewer into the wilderness.

Catharine (Ahearn) Czudej

Estimated value: $6,000–8,000

With a surrealistic approach, Czudej transforms simple objects into something unfamiliar. Even this mixed media rendition of a mushroom and olive pizza has an air of mystery, partially due to the artist’s use of materials. “Untitled (Pizza 3) presents us with a visually appetizing double entendre,” adds Roselyn Mathews of Phillips Contemporary Art. “The work portrays a pizza box, but it’s also literally made out of cardboard and paint.”

Zsolt Bodoni

Estimated value: $6,000–8,000

Bodoni—a Hungarian artist raised in Romania—bases his hauntingly gestural paintings on Eastern European myths and history. “Pendulum presents us with an approaching military ship, which seems to be slowly creeping into our historical consciousness,” describes Katherine Lukacher, Head of Online Sales at Phillips. Bodoni often works from photographs, abstracting them into his signature monumental, out-of-focus compositions.

Marc Chagall

Estimated value: $4,000–6,000

This colorful lithograph tells the 2,000-year-old love story of Daphnis and Chloe. “Chagall was prompted by his friend, the art publisher Tériade, to create these works whilst honeymooning through Italy and Greece with Vava Brodsky, who he had fallen for after eight years of heartbreak following the death of his first wife,” explains Rebecca Tooby-Desmond, Associate Specialist in Editions at Phillips. “Saturated with the light and heat of the Mediterranean summer, this series of prints is about lost love and second chances: each plate an exquisite love poem to his new bride.”

From July 3–11, all works featured in the auction will be exhibited at Phillips New York at 450 Park Avenue, New York. If you would like more information about any of these lots, you can always reach out to [email protected].

Artsy Specialist