Peter Doig’s Potentially Record-Setting ‘Red House’ to Headline Phillips Contemporary Art Sale

The painting carries a high estimate of $22 million.

Peter Doig Red House (1995–1996). Photo: courtesy of Phillips.

Billing itself “the house of Doig” after setting the artist’s auction record with the $28 million sale of Rosedale (1991) in May, Phillips is now offering another big-ticket lot by the Scottish artist. Red House (1995–1996), which carries an estimate of $18–22 million, could potentially break the artist’s record for the second time this year. The work will be sold in Phillips’s contemporary evening sale on November 16.

Doig created the painting shortly after he was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1994; it was included in his career-defining 1998 exhibition “Blizzard Seventy Seven” at the Kunsthalle Kiel and Kunsthalle Nürnberg in Germany and the Whitechapel Gallery in London. Of the approximately 30 works in the show, eight are now in public collections. The last painting from the exhibition to hit the auction block was Doig’s record-setting Rosedale earlier this year, which sold for $28.8 million with premium.

Jean-Paul Engelen, the auction house’s worldwide co-head of contemporary art, told artnet News that Red House has all the ingredients for a record-setting Doig. “It has architecture, landscape, it has memories of Canada, and it comes from a pivotal period,” he said. When Doig created this work in the mid-’90s, he was transitioning from the thick impasto that defined his earlier work to more delicate compositions.

Red House also has size on its side. “It’s very rare for big paintings [by Doig] to come to the market,” Engelen said.

Red House has appeared at auction once before, at Christie’s London in 2008, where it sold to the present owner for $3.1 million with premium, according to artnet’s Price Database. (Engelen attributed that result—which fell below the work’s $3.4 million low estimate—to an art-market slowdown following the 2007 credit crunch.) This time around, however, the specialist is considerably more optimistic—and if the painting sells within estimate, the 2008 buyer stands to make a 600 percent return.

Doig’s prices have seen a steep incline in recent years. The artist’s top 10 auction prices, according to the artnet Price Database, have all been set since 2013.

“It’s really amazing how global the interest in Doig is,” Engelen said. With Rosedale, interest “really came from America, Asia, and Europe, and we’re seeing the same thing again. It’s always difficult to predict if it will break the world record or not, but I’m convinced we’ll see multiple bidders.”

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