Baselitz’s haunting portrait Das letzte Selbstbildnis I
(1982) notched the highest price of the evening, selling for £4.9 million ($6.4 million), squarely within its estimate of £4.7 million—6 million ($6 million—7.7 million). It was followed by another fiery large-scale portrait, Condo’s The Age of Reason
(2010), which sold for £2.2 million ($2.9 million). Basquiat’s indexical Untitled (Pestus)
(1982) sold for £2.2 million ($2.8 million). The rest of the top ten was rounded out by artists including Keith Haring
, Andy Warhol
, and Sean Scully
, with only Banksy and Scully beating the high estimates for their work.
The sale also saw a number of new auction records. Smith’s surreal 2018 painting Alien Shores more than quadrupled its high estimate of £60,000 ($77,800) to sell for £277,200 ($359,300), nearly doubling her previous record of $187,500, set at Christie’s New York in July. The Zimbabwean artist Zvavahera’s dreamlike ink-and-oil work Arising from the Unknown (2019) sold for £163,800 ($212,300), beating her previous record of ZAR$352,780 ($21,100) by a factor of 10.
According to Artsy data, inquiries on works by all three artists on the platform are on track to double this year. Demand for works by Smith have seen a particularly dramatic surge on Artsy, with the number of inquiries thus far this year already more than 13 times what they were two years ago.
Other significant sales include works by Salman Toor
and Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe
, both of whom saw their secondary market debut this year. Toor’s Aashiana (Hearth and Home)
(2012) beat its high estimate of £50,000 ($64,800) to sell for £138,600 ($179,600), while Quaicoe’s 2019 portrait Black Stripes on White
tripled its high estimate of £30,000 ($38,800) to sell for £94,500 ($122,500). Dana Schutz’s satirical Trump Descending an Escalator
(2017) also beat its high estimate of £580,000 ($751,800), selling for £688,000 ($891,800).
Kate Bryan, Phillips’s head of 20th Century and contemporary art evening sale, said in a statement: