Outside, Berkeley Square is relatively quiet, covered in snow, with cars and motor cycles parked around the square creating white silhouettes. Against this snowy backcloth, spread over four floors, sit sculptures and paintings from Phillip’s 20th Century & Contemporary Art evening and day sales which include work by Damien Hirst, along with with Igor Mitoraj’s classical torso, Jedd Novatt’s cubist construction, Sylvie Fleury’s white peacock and contrasting black tyre and Tomas Saraceno’s geometric floating sculpture. Peter Halley’s ‘Here and There’ and Theaster Gates’ ‘Black Box II provide sideways glimpses out, while looking north, Ivan Navarro’s ‘Wall Hole’ breaks out through the wall with an infinite illusion, with his fluorescent-lit Lamp Table (Blue-Red-White) and Kristin Baker’s ‘Cheras to Dunc Gray’ (the Australian track and Olympic cyclist) nearby, while downstairs KAWS’ ‘Accomplice’ guards the lower level gallery including Elmgreen & Dragset’s safe representing the loss of art to the Private Museum.
On the ground floor, at over 10 metres long, is one of the largest works ever shown at Phillips – Mark Bradford’s huge collage ‘Helter Skelter I’ from the collection of John McEnroe at an estimate of £6 million to £8 million and several sculptures by Henry Moore and also Marino Marini. Following on from the impressionist and modern art sales at the other auction houses, will any records be broken at Phillips this year?