Phillips’ London New Now Auction on 9 December to be Led by Günther Förg, Eddie Martinez, Jonas Wood, and Mr.
Highlights Include Jadé Fadojutimi’s Typhoon, a car bonnet titled Achtung Baby designed by Thierry Noir in partnership with U2, Modern British Sculptures from Elisabeth Frink and Barry Flanagan, and a Selection of Seven Works Donated to Benefit the Africa First Residency Program
Phillips has announced highlights ahead of the New Now sale in London. The sale will be led by Günther Förg, Eddie Martinez, Jonas Wood and Mr., with further highlights including works by Jadé Fadojutimi, Aboudia, Damien Hirst, KAWS and Yoshitomo Nara, and Modern British sculptures from Elisabeth Frink and Barry Flanagan. A remarkable Trabant 601 car bonnet designed by Thierry Noir to commemorate the 30th anniversary of U2’s seminal album Achtung Baby will be offered in the sale, with proceeds going to Berlin Institute for Sound and Music. Also on offer is a selection of works from contemporary African artists including Serge Attukwei Clottey and Joana Choumali, whose work has been donated by Africa First in order to benefit the Africa First Artist Residency Program. On view in Phillips’ London galleries alongside the New Now highlights viewing from 2 to 9 December is The Sovereign Art Foundation Students Prize Finalist’s Exhibition. The New Now sale is comprised of over 180 lots and will take place on 9 December at 2pm.
Simon Tovey, Specialist, Head of New Now, said, “Following the success of our New Now sale in July which, at £6.3 Million, realised the highest total for a New Now auction in London, we are excited to present our December auction which includes a vibrant cross section of celebrated artists such as Günther Förg, Jonas Wood and Yoshitomo Nara alongside younger artists with rising markets such as Jadé Fadojutimi and Aboudia. We are delighted to feature the original bonnet from the Thierry Noir’s Trabant 601 commissioned by U2 to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of their Achtung Baby album. We are thrilled to also have a selection of works donated by Africa First to raise funds for their Artist Residency Program which provides essential support for emerging artists from Africa and the African diaspora. We look forward to presenting both established collectors and those starting out with our sale this December and to welcoming visitors to the preview exhibition in person at our galleries on Berkeley Square and online on Phillips.com from 2 to 9 December.”
Günther Förg’s Untitled comes to auction this December from the collection of Mikael Andersen, an important collector of Förg’s work. Andersen has said of the artist’s work, they “have looked at the entire history of art — from Philip Guston to Munch and Rothko — and transformed it into a singular expression, undoubtedly Förg’s own.” The present work is characterised by broad splashes of pigment that vibrate across the vast expanse of the silver ground. Förg masterfully employs negative space to unify and establish harmonies between the disparate flashes of colour. The effect of this on such a monumental scale is vibrantly energetic and atmospheric.
A leading highlight of the sale is Jonas Wood’s Yellow Crate. The playful geometrics and lush vibrant colours Wood employs in the depiction of a potted plant and a yellow crate underscores the idea that beauty can be found in everyday domestic objects. Frequently returning to scenes and objects from his own life, the artist transforms them into abstract and striking works of art. Wood received his MFA from the University of Washington in 2002, and his work can be found in the collections of major museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney and the Guggenheim.
Executed in 1996, You Just Wanna Be A? is representative of Yoshitomo Nara’s continued investigations of imagination, the inner self and the individual, as seen through his depictions of the alternately charming and sinister child characters that feature in his work. In the present work the child featured is one of Nara’s adorable characters, large innocent eyes gaze up at the viewer who seems to be mocking the child’s ambition to be an artist. It was completed four years after Nara graduated from his advanced degree at the prestigious Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and a year after his 1995 breakthrough solo show at Scai the Bathhouse in Tokyo which propelled him to international prominence. Also featuring in the New Now auction is Yoshitomo Nara’s Dioxin.
Among the sale’s contemporary highlights is Jadé Fadojutimi’s Typhoon. Painted in 2015, Typhoon is vibrant, and immersive, emblematic of Fadojutimi’s signature style that oscillates between reality and fantasy. A recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, Fadojutimi has seen an amazing and swift ascent to success: she is the youngest artist represented in the collection of the Tate and has recently been featured in exhibitions at Hayward Gallery, London, and at the Liverpool Biennial 2021. The artist has further exhibitions planned for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (upcoming) and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2022).
Modern British sculptures to feature in this sale include Barry Flanagan’s 1994 Hare with Ball, a sculpture which exemplifies Flanagan’s artistic obsession with the hare. A member of the Royal Zoological Society, Flanagan featured other animals in his work, but the hare remains his most constant motif with which he is now associated. A further highlight of this group is Elisabeth Frink’s Tribute Head IV, a large-scale bronze head which combines the brutish features of many of her antiheroic male figures with an intense pathos and tenderness, captured through its closed eyes. The present work is one of four Tribute heads which were to become some of Frink’s most successful and recognised sculptures.
Drawing on traditional craft practices, digital technologies and a rich history of portraiture, the seven works donated by Africa First are from contemporary artists Serge Attukwei Clottey, Joana Choumali, Nirit Takele, Raphael Adjetey Mayne, Kelechi Nwaneri, and Florine Démosthène. Previously held in the Africa First collection, proceeds from the sales of these works will go towards the Africa First Residency Program which supports emerging artists from Africa and the African diaspora. As well as supporting the work and international reach of established artists through its collection and well-established lending programme, the Africa First Residency Program is part of a movement aimed at improving and expanding the infrastructure for emerging talent through the provision of studio space, creation of new museums, galleries, art fairs and arts programmes.