SALE: Under the Influence
LOCATION: Phillips de Pury & Company, 450 Park Avenue, New York
DATE: September 20, 2012
ABOUT: “Under the Influence,” which opens the fall auction season at Phillips de Pury & Company, has an impressive mélange of engaging contemporary art from emerging and big name artists. While much media attention, sparked by an article this month in Vanity Fair, has been directed at an unauthenticated piece attributed to Jackson Pollock, formerly in the possession of his mistress Ruth Kligman, the piece has been pulled from the auction in order for de Pury to do more research.
Last year’s “Under the Influence” auction also had a media jolt when Stephen Colbert took the gavel for the auction of his portrait altered by Shepard Fairey, Andres Serrano, and Frank Stella. This year, in addition to the Pollock speculation, works likely to get attention are Kelley Walker’s steel and gold leaf recycling symbol from 2007 estimated at $150,000-200,000, a 2010 acrylic and silver deposit work by Jacob Kassay estimated at $80,000-120,000, Piotr Uklanski’s pencil shaving piece “Untitled (NIAMH)” (2008) estimated at $80,000-120,000, and one of Walead Beshty’s battered and shattered Fed Ex box works estimated at $30,000-40,000. “Sunshine,” a 1988 painting by Yayoi Kusama, should entrance some buyers’ eyes in light of the hype surrounding her ongoing Whitney retrospective and its acrylic field of yellow lines patterned with pink over purple.
There are also a few noteworthy street art pieces on offer, with Banksy’s spray paint on wood “You Can't Fool All of the People...” (2005) estimated at $25,000-35,000, and offerings by graffiti artist turned toy and clothing designer KAWS, including the abstracted “M8” (2000) — in which the edge of an X-eye appears — estimated at $30,000-40,000, as well as the SpongeBob SquarePants distoration “KAWSBOB (Open Mouth with Tongue).” There’s some less refined graffiti in Sterling Ruby’s “Sex” (2007), estimated at $20,000-30,000, a print of a photograph of a flash-lit wall scrawled with Sharpie messages. Also appealingly lurid is Adam McEwen’s “Untitled (Marilyn)” (2004), estimated at $12,000-18,000, for which the former obituary-writer imagined final words for porn star Marilyn Minter.
To see works from Phillips de Pury & Company's "Under the Influence" sale, click the slide show.