Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Auction: Saturday @Phillips, New York, October 25, 2008

The latest incarnation of the Saturday @Phillips sale is coming up this weekend in New York. As a reminder, this sale is designed for beginning collectors, and juxtaposes photography, prints, toys, watches, furniture, jewelry and various other items, all carefully selected with an eye for design and style. Out of a total of 524 lots, there are 111 photographs (loosely defined) in the sale. The total high estimate for these lots is $334700, and 110 of them have a high estimate under $10000, most much lower than that.

While I'm not a fan of the laundry list as an approach for expressing insight, I think the list of photographers in this sale is pretty broad and strong, especially in the context of contemporary work:

Slim Aarons
Eve Arnold
John Baldessari
Dawoud Bey
Oliver Boberg
Daniele Buetti
Michael Comte
Gregory Crewdson
Lynn Davis
Tim Davis
Walter De Maria
Rineke Dijkstra
Elliott Erwitt
Andreas Feininger
Adam Fuss
Felix Gonzales-Torres
Dan Graham
Phillipe Halsman
Candida Hofer
Katy Grannan
Eberhard Havekost
Dana Hoey
Peter Hujar
Sarah Jones
Michael Joo
Rinko Kawauchi
Hee Jin Kang
David Lachapelle
Louise Lawler
Annie Leibovitz
Robert Mapplethorpe
Steve McCurry
Ryan McGinley
Marilyn Minter
Richard Misrach
Reinhard Mucha
Vik Muniz
Walter Niedermayr
Gabriel Orozco
Bill Owens
Jack Pierson
Paul Pfeiffer
Len Prince
Richard Prince
Marcia Resnick
Terry Richardson
Ugo Rondinone
Albert Rudomine
Thomas Ruff
Roy Schatt
Beverly Semmes
Andres Serrano
Joseph Shashkevetch
Malick Sidibe
Bert Stern
Thomas Struth
Hiroshi Sugimoto
Ed Templeton
Rirkrit Tiravanija
Mette Tronvoll
Spencer Tunick
Ruud Van Empel
Massimo Vitali
Bettina Von Zwehl
Peter Waite
Andy Warhol
Bruce Weber
Carrie Mae Weems
Shizuka Yokomizu

While most (if not all) of these images are low end examples of a particular photographer's work, I continue to wonder why Phillips doesn't focus solely on this kind of material, amped up to include the best pieces from these artists. If they could deliver on top quality material from the list above, they would seem to have an opportunity to carve out and defend an interesting portion of the auction market.
Here are a few pieces we liked, even if they may not exactly fit into our collection:
  • Lot 73 Oliver Boberg, Aussentreppe, 1998
  • Lot 250 Robert Mapplethorpe, Untitled, 1983
  • Lot 279 Vik Muniz, Gummy Bears, 2002 (our kids would go crazy for these)
  • Lot 338 Dan Graham, Untitled, 1996
Saturday @Phillips
October 25th
450 West 15th Street
New York, NY 10011

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