Phillips closed out the week of contemporary art auctions in London with an $18.8 million sale last night. The salesroom was quiet, but remote bidders ratcheted up totals for a number of artists, including, right out of the gate, Rob Pruitt, whose glittery canvas of pandas munching on bamboo managed to double its high estimate, at $160,000, as the first lot of the night.
Hot off the opening of his show at Francois Pinault’s Palazzo Grassi in Venice, Rudolf Stingel set a new auction record last night with the sale of a noirish self-portrait for $1.2 million. Stingel also had a good showing at today's afternoon sale, with a composition of enamel cubes on linen on going for nearly $150,000 on a $90,000 estimate.
There were a number of surprises elsewhere at the sale, including the young London-based star Oscar Murillo's canvas coated with debris from his studio, which sold for $220,000, dramatically surpassing its $35,000 presale estimate; a particularly suggestive picture from Cindy Sherman’s legendary “Untitled Film Stills” series, which quadrupled its estimate at $460,000; a pink Piotr Uklanski crayon-on-glass drawing that more than doubled high estimate, for $112,000; and a Nate Lowman quadruple-bullethole print for $160,000, well beyond its $45,000 estimate.
For whatever reason, vases proved to be a hit at today’s event as well. One of 2003 Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry’s earthenware vases from 1995 sold for $80,000, triple the presale estimate, and an unusual terracotta vase markered on by Keith Haring soared past its $60,000 estimate to sell for $315,000, making it the top lot of the day sale.
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