Phillips London 20th Century & Contemporary Art Auction: A Poignant Iconic Painting by Luc Tuymans and Other Highlights

Lorenzo Belenguer
Jun 25 · 6 min read

Phillips’ June sales of 20th Century & Contemporary Art will offer works from a number of private collections, including the Miles & Shirley Fiterman Collection, property from the Estate of Ryan Brant, and property from the collection of American baseball star Alex Rodriguez. The Evening Sale, taking place on 27 June, will present 36 lots of Modern, Post-War, and Contemporary Art, and will be followed by the Day Sale on 28 June, comprising 160 lots.

As previously, Phillips made an interesting collection with established artists such as Tuymans, Hirst, Picasso, Basquiat, etc., and up and coming new stars. Here, you can find the selection for EscapadasUK by the artist and art critic Lorenzo Belenguer.


Luc Tuymans


signed ‘TUYMANS. LUC’ on the reverse
oil on canvas
60.6 x 70.5 cm (23 7/8 x 27 3/4 in.)
Painted in 1986.


Schwarzheide is a poignant painting of utter beauty. As Tuymans says:

“Schwarzheide is an iconic painting that I painted very early on. It was made after Our New Quarters, as a result of years of reflection on the subject of the Second World War, and the psychological breakdown that it represented for Europe. The painting takes after the drawings that a number of detainees made in concentration camps, and its minimal appearance reflects the atmosphere that all these drawings exuded — often created with a mixture of charcoal and other media that produced a blueish hue. The fact that these drawings conjured one same atmosphere shocked me deeply, because the sketches were made by different individuals. They came from different hands, and yet it seemed like they were created unanimously, conveying the singular image of a void.

Schwarzheide is an image of the naturalization of death, an image that captures violence at its peak through the paradoxical depiction of understatement. In my opinion, true terror is what you don’t show. True terror reverberates from silence”. (Luc Tuymans, in conversation with Marianne Hoet, 5 June 2019)


Alberto Giacometti

Diego [tête au col roulé]

incised with the artist’s signature and number ‘Alberto Giacometti 4/8’ on the back of the base; further stamped with the foundry mark ‘Susse Fondeur Paris’ on the left side of the base; further stamped with the foundry mark and incised ‘Susse Fondeur Cire Perdue’ on the inside of the base
bronze with green-brown patina
33 x 12.9 x 14.4 cm (12 7/8 x 5 1/8 x 5 5/8 in.)
Conceived circa 1954, cast in bronze in 1980 by Susse Fondeur, Paris, this work is cast number 4 from an edition of 8 casts. This work is recorded in the Alberto Giacometti Database under no. 1561, and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the Giacometti Committee.


Giacometti reinvented the human figure in modern sculpture to express the traumatic existence in a post-war era.


Anselm Kiefer

Die Sefiroth (close up image)

titled ‘Die Sefiroth’ on the reverse
emulsion, acrylic, charcoal and shellac on burlap
330 x 180 cm (129 7/8 x 70 7/8 in.)
Executed in 1996.


Kiefer is an artist that confronted memories and the past in a post-war Germany. His mixed-media works full of symbolism are as poetically beautiful as cathartic.


Vasily Klyukin

Dancing Fairy (Beatrice Gold) (close up image)

incised with the artist’s initials, inscribed and dated ‘VK DF BG 2/6 15’ on the insert of one panel
brass on silver and black metal base
100 x 60 x 56 cm (39 3/8 x 23 5/8 x 22 in.)
Executed in 2015, this work is number 2 from an edition of 6.


Klyukin is enjoying a very successful show during the Venice Biennale, In Dante Veritas, with days of over 2,000 viewers. You can read the review here. Definitively, the emerging artist to watch. His philosophical sculptures transcend boundaries and achieve an enigmatic sense of etherealness.


Carl Andre

48 Bar Rectangular Fugue on 4 Ancient Metals

copper, steel, lead and zinc, in 48 parts
each 1 x 15 x 30 cm (3/8 x 5 7/8 x 11 3/4 in.)
overall 1 x 180 x 120 cm (3/8 x 70 7/8 x 47 1/4 in.)
Executed in 1988, this work is accompanied by a statement of authenticity signed by the artist


Andre was a revolutionary that upsetted the British public when the Tate adquired Equivalent VIII which consists on a series of 120 bricks piled in two rows. Some people thought that the whole installation of a series of 6 should have been brought rather than just one as it made mose sense as a group.


Alex Katz


signed and dated ‘Alex Katz 14’ upper right
oil on board
30.4 x 28.3 cm (11 7/8 x 11 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2014.


Katz has been nicknamed as the Instagram artist before Instagram was invented because of his simplification in human portraiture.


Olafur Eliasson

Holo lamp (close up image)

wood, mirror, stainless steel c-stand, holo lens, lamp and transformer
213.5 x 95 x 135 cm (84 x 37 3/8 x 53 1/8 in.)
overall installation dimensions variable
Executed in 2005, this work is from an edition of 10 and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.


Eliasson is going to enjoy a well-deserved exhibition at the Tate Modern with new work for the show. His Sun installation at the turbine hall still remains as one of the most attended ever.


Ibrahim Mahama

BK X (close up image)

signed ‘I Mahama’ upper left
found fabric and plastic collage, ink and thread on jute sacks with markings
217 x 328 cm (85 3/8 x 129 1/8 in.)
Executed in 2016.


Mahama is an artist that though his intricate installation panels of cocoa and coal jute sacks investigates the supply and demand in the African markets.


Damien Hirst

Mercuric Thiocyanate (close up image)

signed, titled and dated ‘“Mercuric Thiocyanate” 2007 Damien Hirst’ on the reverse; further signed ‘D. Hirst’ on the stretcher
household gloss on canvas
175.3 x 297.2 cm (69 x 117 in.)
Painted in 2007.


Not much needed to say of one of the most talked about contemporary artists of today. Hirst’s dot coloured paintings are as intriguing as enigmatic.

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Auction: Thursday, 27 June 2019, 7pm GMT

Auction viewing: 18–27 June

Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London

Click here for more information.

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

Auction: Friday, 28 June 2019, 2pm GMT

Auction viewing: 18–28 June

Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London

Click here for more information.

All photographs courtesy the artist/Estate and Phillips. Photo credit: Lorenzo Belenguer


Escapadas.UK is a Cultural Magazine about Art, Food and Lifestyle for the Intrepid. For inquiries/contributions requests, please contact the editor on Lorenzo@Escapadas.UK

Lorenzo Belenguer

Written by

Artist. Addicted to Anchovies & Chickpeas. #Minimalism #ArtePovera Editor-in-Chief Escapadas.UK Mag Director Incognito #NottingHill


Escapadas.UK is a Cultural Magazine about Art, Food and Lifestyle for the Intrepid. For inquiries/contributions requests, please contact the editor on Lorenzo@Escapadas.UK