Art Events, Auction, New York


Phillips to Showcase
Pablo Picasso’s ‘Buste de femme au chapeau’ in the
New York Evening Sale of Modern & Contemporary Art

Works formerly from the Collection of Francesco Pellizzi by Jean-Michel Basquiat to Lead Auction on 14 May,Offered Alongside Works by Donald Judd, Barkley L. HendricksDerek Fordjour, Helen Frankenthaler, and Grace Hartigan

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Untitled (Portrait of Famous Ballplayer), 1981
Estimate: $6.5-8.5 Million

NEW YORK – 29 APRIL 2024 – With the full catalogue now available online, Phillips is proud to share further highlights from the May Evening Sale in New York, while announcing that the 20th Century & Contemporary Art department has been rebranded as Modern & Contemporary Art. This strategic decision underscores Phillips’ commitment to ongoing innovation, evolving with the dynamic market landscape and more closely reflecting collectors’ buying and selling habits. The change not only simplifies the department’s identity but also reflects Phillips’ successful strategy in recent years of expanding its scope to include important works from the Modern era—roughly encompassing the period and movements between the 1860s through to 1970—which blends seamlessly with the established Contemporary offerings from 1970 to now.
The Evening Sale, set to take place on Tuesday, 14 May, at 5pm ET, features works by the most prominent artists of the past century, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose Untitled (ELMAR) hails from the former collection of
Francesco Pellizzi, and Pablo Picasso, whose Buste de femme au chapeau brilliantly captures one of the most significant subjects in the artist’s oeuvre, Dora Maar. Alongside these two masterworks will be exceptional examples
by Barkley L. Hendricks, Donald Judd, Helen Frankenthaler, and Derek Fordjour. The 30 lots in the Evening Sale will be on view in New York at 432 Park Avenue in the lead-up to the auction, with the exhibition open to the public
from 4-14 May.

Amanda Lo Iacono, Deputy CEO, said, “This Spring, Phillips is proud to officially rename our department to underscore our commitment to Modern and Contemporary Art. We have a robust legacy of offering Modern masterpieces sourced by our deep pool of experts, from Picasso’s La Dormeuse in 2018, to last year’s 100%-sold Triton Collection Foundation sale, to Buste de femme au chapeau, which is headlining our Modern offerings this May.”


 Jean-Michel Basquiat
Untitled (Portrait of Famous Ballplayer), 1981
Estimate: $6.5-8.5 Million

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Untitled (ELMAR), 1982
Estimate: $40-60 million

Helen Frankenthaler
Acres, 1959
Estimate: $1,800,000-2,500,000

Jean-Paul Engelen, President, Americas, and Worldwide Co-Head of Modern & Contemporary Art, added, “It is a privilege to share the Evening Sale of Modern & Contemporary Art with our collecting community. This sale, carefully assembled by our global team, perfectly captures the spirit that this new sale title carries. Led by two of the most influential names that have shaped the art market today – Pablo Picasso and Jean-Michel Basquiat – the sale spans works from 1917 to 2022, boasting names such as Henri Matisse, Helen Frankenthaler and Jadé Fadojutimi. This strategy of offering Modern Art in a Contemporary context has become emblematic of Phillips’ DNA. We look forward to welcoming collectors through our doors to see the works in person when we open to the public.”

A testament to Phillips’ continued commitment to Modern art, the New York Evening Sale will showcase Pablo Picasso’s Buste de femme au chapeau, 1939, a complex and captivating portrait of Dora Maar, the innovative Surrealist photographer who became Picasso’s primary muse and paramour during the turbulent years surrounding the Second World War.

Pablo Picasso
Buste de femme au chapeau, 1939
Estimate: $12-18 million

Featuring the bold, serpentine line of her hair offset by the jaunty angles of the titular hat, this work incorporates key elements of Picasso’s paintings of Maar, including his distinctive rendering of her eyes, strong line of her nose, and radical combinations of frontal and profile views that recall his earlier Cubistic investigations into the simultaneous representation of multiple perspectives on a single picture plane. The new, novel challenge of her features, combined with his own intensifying feelings around the Spanish Civil War, ushered in profound shifts in the older artist’s painterly style that are now recognized as representing one of the most radical and significantly productive periods of his career. Elegant and enigmatic, Buste de femme au chapeau remained in Picasso’s personal collection throughout his life, one of the so-called ‘Picasso’s Picassos’ first recorded by photojournalist David Douglas Duncan in 1961. Following the artist’s death, the portrait passed into the esteemed collection of the Galerie Beyeler. It has remained in the hands of its current owner for nearly 30 years.

As previously announced, leading the auction is Jean-Michel
Basquiat’s Untitled (ELMAR), 1982 [illustrated page 1]. The monumental painting formerly hails from the original collection of Francesco Pellizzi, along with Untitled (Portrait of Famous Ballplayer), 1981, which is also being offered in the auction. These works were created during the golden years of Basquiat’s illustrious career and they pair some of his most iconic imagery with equally impressive provenance and exhibition history.

Donald Judd
Untitled, 1978
Estimate: $5,500,000-7,500,000

On the heels of Barkley L. Hendricks: Portraits at the Frick – the first solo show for an artist of color in the institution’s 88- year history – Phillips is proud to offer Hendricks’ career-defining Vendetta in the May Evening Sale. Painted in 1977, the work captures the essence of his artistic philosophy and technique, blending classical training with a contemporary flair that challenged and expanded the boundaries of portraiture. Trained in both the United States and Europe, Hendricks mastered and then redefined traditional oil painting techniques to celebrate the individuality and dignity of his subjects.
Following his training in Europe, he was determined to apply the Old Masters’ techniques in a unique way, focusing on Black subjects whom he had felt had not been properly represented in European art. Vendetta featured in Hendricks’ first career retrospective, which began at the Nasher Museum of Art in Durham and toured across the United States from 2008 to 2010, cementing his status as a pivotal figure in American art. Following his passing in 2017, Hendricks’ legacy has experienced a notable resurgence, a fact that is underscored by his top ten auction prices having all been achieved in the past six years.

Derek Fordjour
Numbers, 2018
Estimate: $400,000-600,000

The New York Evening Sale also boasts a strong showing of Post-War abstraction, including Helen Frankenthaler’s Acres, 1959, which represents a pivotal moment when she was just starting to be recognized as a prominent figure in the international art scene. At nearly eight feet high, the monumental canvas stands as a testament to the artist’s prowess in both material experimentation and the orchestration of color that brought her critical acclaim in the New York School of Abstract Expressionism. Emphasizing its significance, Acres boasts a distinguished provenance and exhibition history. The year following its creation, the painting was showcased in back-to-back presentations of the artist’s work at the Jewish Museum and then at André Emmerich Gallery. It later traveled to prestigious venues such as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
In the 1980s, Acres was acquired directly from the artist by actor Steve Martin and has changed hands only once since then, when it was acquired by Los Angeles collectors and LACMA benefactors Sandra and Jacob Terner in 1995. For nearly three decades, Acres has remained in the same private collection. Also hailing from the Terners’ prestigious collection is Grace Hartigan’s Montauk Highway, 1957 [illustrated page 4]. Representing the artist at the peak of her critical and artistic success, the work has also remained in the same collection for nearly thirty years.

Marc Chagall

Fleurs chez Bella, 1936-1938
Estimate: $800,000-1,200,000

Executed in 1978, Untitled is a powerful expression of Donald Judd’s signature aesthetic and commitment to radical abstraction in his most iconic format: the stack. A cornerstone of Post-War American art, these instantly recognizable works embody the radical redefinition of art and form that characterized the emergence of Minimalist aesthetics. The work’s ten stainless steel and fluorescent yellow Plexiglas units invite viewers to explore the interplay of light, color, and form. Coming to the market for the first time in forty years, Untitled was acquired by Helen Lewis and the late Marvin Meyer, a celebrated entertainment attorney whose client roster included many of Hollywood’s biggest names including Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali, in 1984 not long after the work’s execution.

Kent Monkman
The Storm, 2020
Estimate: $300,000-500,000

Phillips is proud to present a strong selection of important Contemporary works in the Evening Sale. Among these is Derek Fordjour’s 2018 painting, Numbers, which critiques the commodification of Black labor in professional sports,
metaphorically reflecting broader social stratification in America. In Numbers, Fordjour eloquently illustrates the dichotomy of spectacle versus spectator, capturing a moment that, while seemingly routine, reveals the harsh realities of an industry that thrives on the physical assessment and valuation of its players. Fordjour’s layered technique, using materials like newspaper mounted on canvas, adds depth to the critique, reflecting on the manipulation of narratives around Black athletes and the complexities of human identity. Through his optical color mixing method, he achieves visual richness reminiscent of post-
Impressionism, blurring boundaries between painting and collage, inviting viewers to engage emotionally and intellectually with his work. Following Phillips’ extraordinary result for the artist in May 2023, the Evening Sale will also feature Noah Davis’ Untitled (Boy with Glasses)Noah Davis’ Untitled (Boy with Glasses) [illustrated below], which beautifully demonstrates the artist’s keen ability to capture the essence of everyday life while infusing it with profound emotional resonance.

Noah Davis
Untitled (Boy with Glasses), 2010
Estimate: $150,000-200,000

On the heels of the company’s groundbreaking New Terrains exhibition in January 2024, Phillips will offer Kent Monkman’s The Storm in May, marking the first time that one of his works will be offered in a major Evening Sale. There has been an extraordinary rise in interest for works of Native American art, evidenced by the market’s unbridled enthusiasm for New Terrains and the acquisition of Monkman’s Death of Adonis by Art Bridges. Monkman’s editioned works also sold out on Phillips’ Dropshop, with 60% of the buyers being new to the company. Phillips is proud to pave the way in championing important artists from the genre.

Auction: Tuesday, 14 May 2024
Auction viewing: 4-14 May
Location: 432 Park Avenue, New York, NY
Click here for more information:


Leave a Comment