Flash News: Wayne Thiebaud, 100 years old… and a new record – Phillips and Poly Auction become partners – Paris, an artistic showcase

[11 Sep 2020]


Wayne Thiebaud, 100 years old… and a new record

Associated with Pop Art via his paintings of pastries, boots, toys or lipstick tubes, the American artist Morton Wayne THIEBAUD will celebrate his 100th birthday on 15 November 2020. Born into a French family, his surname is still pronounced à la française. In New York, Thiebaud is supported by the Acquavella gallery which hosted a major retrospective of his work at the end of 2019 retracing the evolution of his painting over the last 54 years (Mountains 1965-2019). A spectacular auction result was simultaneously hammered when his cake painting, Encased Cakes (2011), fetched $8.5 million at Sotheby’s in New York (14 November 2019). However, the artist has since moved into a whole new price bracket with his Four Pinball Machines fetching more than $19 million during the Christie’s online ONE sale on 10 July of this year. Wayne Thiebaud’s auction record has thus risen by over $10 million in his 99th year!


Phillips and Poly Auction become partners

News of an alliance between Phillips and Poly Auction was posted on 19 August: Phillips, the third most powerful auction house in the world by turnover after Christie’s and Sothebys, will present its Hong Kong sales in November in association with Poly Auction, the fifth largest in the world. This historic collaboration will allow both companies to expand their global reach. Edward Dolman, CEO of Phillips, said, “We believe the time has come for Phillips to seize the initiative of launching this historic collaboration with China’s leading auction house. With Asia continuing to grow as an important region in the global art market, this partnership will allow Phillips to establish a broader position in Greater China, while providing Poly with our global reach and expertise. This collaboration marks a key step in our growth trajectory and underscores Phillips’ ambition to further expand its presence in this important market.”

Phillips has opened outlets in eight major Asian cities since its first Asian auction late 2015 in Hong Kong. Its sales in the region are enjoying growing success. In July 2020, its session devoted to 20th Century and Contemporary Art & Design set six new artist records and generated a total turnover of $35 million, a record for Phillips Asia in this sales category.


Paris, an artistic showcase

Already installed in Milan since 1987, then in London and Hong Kong, the Italian art dealer Massimo De Carlo will inaugurate a new space in Paris before the end of the year, at 57 rue de Turenne. For any art lover with a history of exploring the cultural offerings in Paris’s Le Marais district, the name of the space – Piece Unique – will ring a bell. Back in 1989 a certain Lucio Amelio opened a shop/gallery called Piece Unique in rue Mazarine. Massimo De Carlo bought the name in order to pursue Lucio Amelio’s project: to show a unique work in a shop window, offering an alternative to the operating methods of galleries.

And… De Carlo may well surprise us. A little over 20 years ago, De Carlo accepted to be literally taped halfway up a wall in his gallery by a Maurizio CATTELAN who “crucified” him with lots of adhesive tape, completely immobilizing the dynamic gallery owner for what he called A Perfect Day (1999).