Phillips’ Curates Diverse Contemporary Art Balanced with Elegance and Depth

Looking to invest in art? Phillips recently closed its 20th Century & Contemporary Art auctions early this March, which was a celebration of artistic diversity, with iconic masterpieces alongside cutting-edge contemporary works, offering something for every art enthusiast and collector alike.

The captivating sale includes portraits spanning over a century, with works by renowned artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Francis Picabia and Andy Warhol’s iconic Portrait of Princess Diana. Notable compositions by Yayoi Kusama, Cecily Brown and Sigmar Polke enriched the selection, alongside works by emerging artists like Alia Ahmad, Jonathan Gardner and Jesse Mockrin. Popspoken’s choice picks include:

Andy Warhol’s Portrait of Princess Diana (1982): Two icons, in one setting. This portrayal of Princess Diana’s engagement portrait, with Prince Charles deliberately cropped out of frame, captures the enduring allure of the beloved deceased royalty. Exploring themes of beauty, tragedy and fame, the Pop-art king’s bold depiction continues to resonate, making this piece a highly coveted highlight of the auction. The sale closed under the hammer after a four-minute bidding war.

Anselm Kiefer’s (featured image), Ich Bin, Der Ich Bin (2008): From a private German collection, which eventually sold for £990,600. The significance is not in its dollar sign. Rather, the exploration of motifs in relation to mysticism, which led the former law student to abandon his studies to pursue and further his connection with Judeo-Christian symbolism. His powerful works often make use of raw, found objects, to create complex textures of massive proportions which draw the viewer in.

Adrian Ghenie’s Self-Portrait as a Monkey (2010): Ghenie’s provocative work weaves together evolutionary theories and historical undercurrents, offering a compelling commentary on human nature. His exploration of complex themes remains relevant in today’s socio-political climate, cementing his position as a significant contemporary artist.

Art Basel Hong Kong 2024

Lately, plenty of Asian dealers, that mainly dabble in mid-career artists, have self-dubbed their ventures as “Family Offices”. Whilst this uptake in interest is exciting for the market, that is predominantly dominated by blue-chip galleries such as Gaogosian, David Zwirner; and international galleries that represent credible mid-career artists such as Marianne Boesky and Sprüth Magers.

Do be careful, as this involves overstating the values of the number of works or misrepresenting the value of their collection. Such an inflation may be done by including inconsequential works or even unimportant sketches as part of the ‘work count’. This extends to inaccurately labelling a work as theirs, in describing the dollar value of art they hold in consignment, which are actually on loan from someone else, as Assets Under Management. Such terms are used typically by sophisticated, institutional investors.

As we move towards the vibrancy of Art Basel Hong Kong’s return, check yourself and not fall for emotional buying if you are new to the art market. For example, look out for shill bidding to create an illusion of demand, by sticking to the touchstones of value or basic foundations of assessing artworks, such as quality, rarity and provenance.

Specialists like Sandy Ma and Charlotte Raybaud from Phillips, in light of the 2024 festivities, have provided thoughtfully curated lists of must-see events and exhibitions and are ready to guide you on your journey. The auction house demonstrates a deep understanding of the contemporary art scene in Hong Kong and beyond. Be sure to book mark some of these highlights recommended by them.

Yoshitomo Nara’s Exhibition at Pace Gallery: Japanese artist Yoshitomo, known for his disgruntled, cartoon-like figures of children, will be featuring innovative uses of ceramic sculptures, paintings, and works on paper that showcase his pioneering approach to representation and form.

Wolfgang Tillmans’ Exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery: Experience Tillmman’s first exhibition in Hong Kong, featuring a broad selection of works that respond to their surroundings and embody a self-contained environment.

KAWS Exhibition at Galerie Perrotin: Immerse yourself in the works of Brooklyn-based artist KAWS, known for blurring the line between art and design with sculptures and collectibles, designed for everyday consumers. What was first known as ‘kitchsy’ has since been popularized.

LOVE Long: Robert Indiana & Asia at Asia Society Hong Kong Center: Discover iconic works by American artist Robert Indiana alongside pieces by Asian artists exploring the nuances between words and images.

M+ Pavilion: Not to be missed is the unique audiovisual spectacle of Princeton pHD graduate Samson Young’s exhibition, featuring sculptures, videos, sound installations, and site-specific pieces re-examining the popularity of charity singles from the 1980s.

Art Basel Hong Kong takes place from 28 – 30 March 2024, get your tickets here. Other invigorating cultural exhibits in Hong Kong include Camille Walala’s show at Harbour City, Artistree Selects at Taikoo Place, Green Snake at Tai Kwun and Jin Yong Gallery at the Hong Kong Heritage museum.


Explore latest trends in contemporary culture


Explore latest trends in contemporary culture