Phillips Opens Massive New Flagship in London
Phillips announced the opening of a new auction house and exhibition space in the exclusive address of Berkeley Square, London, on Monday. The official opening will take place during October’s buzzing Frieze Art Fair week. The relocation is part of an ambitious plan to propel Phillips beyond its long-standing third-place position in the auctioneering game (“Ostrowski Triumphs at Phillips’ Otherwise Tepid Contemporary Sale”.)
Another recent bold move in the Phillips offensive strategy was the appointment of Edward Dolman as chairman and CEO of the company last July (see “Edward Dolman Takes the Helm at Phillips”.) Since then, Dolman—the former CEO of Qatar Museums and chairman of Christie’s International plc—has worked between London and New York to devise and oversee Phillip’s new global growth strategy, which includes new office and exhibition spaces in Paris and a new office in Berlin.
Phillips’s new London’s flagship will mirror its New York premises in 450 Park Avenue. The relocation, from the quieter area of Victoria to the sought-after Mayfair postcode, puts Phillips in good company. The building’s main entry will be accessed from Davies Street, where Gagosian has one of its two London showrooms. Both Sotheby’s and Christie’s have their sales rooms on nearby New Bond Street. The auctioneer Bonhams and a growing number of blue-chip galleries, including David Zwirner, Hauser and Wirth, Sadie Coles, and Pace, are also neighbors.
“It’s a statement of intent,” Dolman told the New York Times, while surveying the construction of the 73,000-square-foot building. “This gives up the best space for viewing contemporary art in London. It’s potentially a game changer.”
Phillips, which concentrates solely in contemporary art, will launch the space with a sculpture exhibition curated by Francesco Bonami that will showcase works by Donald Judd, Frank Stella and Enrico Castellani among others. Their inaugural sale, the Contemporary Art Evening Auction, will take place on October 15.
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