Art Market

Cindy Sherman and Rob Pruitt Sales Among Standouts at Phillips London Auction

Cindy Sherman and Rob Pruitt Sales Among Standouts at Phillips London Auction
Detail from Cindy Sherman's "Untitled Film Still #36" (1976)

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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