Russian-Owned Phillips Auction House to Donate $7.7 Million to Ukrainian Red Cross Society

  • March 03, 2022 17:48

  • Email
Phillips © Haydon Perrior: Thomas De Cruz Media

Phillips auction house announced on the morning of March 3 that it would donate 100 percent of the buyer’s premium and vendor’s commission from its 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society.

At the end of the day, £5.8 million ($7.7 million) from the £30 million (nearly $40 million) sale in London will head to Ukraine.

The announcement came after some collectors, responding to Russia's attack on Ukraine, suggested a boycott of the Russian-owned auction house which was acquired in 2008 by the Mercury Group, a Moscow-based luxury retail company founded by Leonid Fridlyand and Leonid Strunin. The Art Newspaper reports that "it is understood the owners are not the subject of any sanctions or affiliated with any parties targeted by sanctions."

The collectors' backlash, and Phillips' benefit for the Ukrainian Red Cross, came after the firm posted on Instagram Monday both an abstraction by Ellsworth Kelly, with colors echoing the Ukrainian flag, and the message: “We at Phillips unequivocally condemn the invasion of Ukraine. Along with the rest of the art world, we have been shocked and saddened by the tragic events unfolding in the region. We call for an immediate cessation of all hostilities in the strongest possible terms.”

Stephen Brooks, Chief Executive Officer, remarked after the sale, “The Ukrainian Red Cross Society is doing incredible work to support and protect people in the region, and it is our hope that the £5.8 million of buyer’s premium and vendor’s commission from our Evening Sale will help this extraordinary charity as they continue their lifesaving mission.”

Olivia Thornton, Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Europe, added, “The sale total of £30 million falls solidly within the pre-sale estimate, selling 95% by lot and 91% by value. The sale opened with fierce bidding for the auction debuts of Lauren Quin and Doron Langberg, and we went on to achieve a new world record for Issy Wood. British art triumphed, with seminal works by David Hockney, Cecily Brown and Hurvin Anderson. It was exciting to open the week with the unveiling in London of our forthcoming Basquiat masterpiece from the collection of Yusaku Maezawa, expected to realise in the region of $70 million when it is offered in New York in the spring.”

Phillips reported its best ever year in 2021 with $993.3 million in auction and private sales.

  • Email

More News Feed Headlines

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) Sunset, 1830-5.

After 13 Years, ARTFIXdaily to Cease Daily News Service

  • ArtfixDaily / August 15th, 2022

ARTFIXdaily will end weekday e-newsletter service after 13 years of publishing art world press releases, events and ...

Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Critical Mass, 2002 (Courtesy of the Cheech Marin Collection and Riverside Art Museum).

Inaugural Exhibition at The Cheech Highlights Groundbreaking Chicano Artists

  • ArtfixDaily / July 7th, 2022

One of the nation’s first permanent spaces dedicated to showcasing Chicano art and culture opened on June ...

Jacob Lawrence,.  .  .  is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?—Patrick Henry,1775 , Panel 1, 1955, from Struggle: From the History of the American People, 1954–56, egg tempera on hardboard.  Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross.  © 2022 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Crystal Bridges Explores the U.S. Constitution Through Art in New Exhibition 'We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy'

  • ArtfixDaily / July 7th, 2022

Original print of the U.S. Constitution headlines exhibition sponsored by Ken Griffin (who purchased it for $43.2 ...

Salvador Dalí (1904–1989), Christ of St John of the Cross, 1951, oil on canvas © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Dalí / El Greco Side-by-Side Exhibit Prompts: 'Are They Really Paintings of the Same Thing?'

  • ArtfixDaily / July 6th, 2022

From July 9 to December 4, 2022, The Auckland Project in the U.K. will unite two Spanish masterpieces from British ...


ARTFIXdaily Artwire