Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Display


Martin Kippenberger Untitled (From the series Krieg Bose / War Wicked) oil and spray paint on canvas 250.2 x 300cm

Sotheby’s auctioneers on New Bond Street have extensive galleries, open free to the public, where they display art works due to be sold in forthcoming auctions. These displays aren’t generally reviewed or promoted as exhibitions, but they’re a great way to see privately owned art that might never be exhibited publicly again.

On friday of this week, Sotheby’s are having sales of Contemporary Art and Italian Art, mostly painting. Yesterday I saw the display, which includes paintings by a very broad range of modern and contemporary artists. There’s so much there, I think anyone interested in painting would find something of interest. Here are a few of my favourites.


Jean-Michel Basquiat Hannibal (1982) acrylic, oilstick and paper collage on canvas 152.4 x 152.4cm


Albert Oehlen Untitled (2007) oil and paper on canvas 200.3 x 340cm


Gerhard Richter Abstraktes Bild (1986) oil on canvas 120 x 80cm


George Condo The Pilot (2012) acrylic, charcoal and pastel on linen 177.8 x 165.1cm


Peter Doig Grasshopper (1990) oil on canvas 200 x 250cm


Sigmar Polke Spirale (1985) oil and lacquer on fabric in 2 parts, each 179.7 x 149.9cm


Neo Rauch Spur (1998) oil on canvas 200 x 251cm


Michaël Borremans The Swan (2006) oil on canvas 40 x 49.5cm


André Butzer Frau Audi (Frau von August Horch) (2005) oil on canvas 250 x 200cm


Giorgio Morandi Natura Morta (1957) oil on canvas 44.5 x 20.2cm


14 thoughts on “Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Display

  1. Liam, thanks for those. Neat to check these out. I love them all, but especially the Borremons, the George Condo, Sigmar Polke and the Morandi. Safe choices. But I guess that goes without saying. And of course the Basquiat is such a headliner for them. You’ve been quiet. Can you say why? Not prying from a gossipy viewpoint. I’m attached to your art’s future. What you are viewing is important in that, for sure.


    • Hi Phil, I haven’t been posting because I’ve been busy putting together my application for some courses. I’m painting more than ever, but don’t have the time / inclination to be photographing and blogging it right now. Next week I’ll be photographing work for the applications, so maybe then I’ll post some recent images. 🙂


      • Beaming you heaps of luck for your applications. Your blogging is important only in for far as it spontaneously pushes in front of whatever else you are doing. It has, it will. That you are painting more than ever is all one needs to know. Fuck, I sound ingratiating. I think I’m trying to hitch a ride on your progress – not just your work from time to time, but your thinking. That’s natural for me. And it is enough that you are civil to me. I would love to know what courses you HAVE done, when you got into consistently painting. Your blogs reveal your probing and reflecting. I don’t need to know you in the flesh to find that satisfying. That your pieces, those that I’ve seen on your blog anyway, seem to dwell in a province of painting that I particularly adhere to, is a clincher.


      • I did a BA degree at Central St Martin’s, but that was ten years ago and I was making video and sculpture then. I wish I’d started oil painting earlier. It seems to be a better fit for me, but back then I thought my colour-blindness was an insurmountable obstacle so I never even tried painting with oil.


      • wow Liam, it must seem like the loss of 10 years. Why I asked you about your colour blindness a while ago was because your use of colour to me seems instinctively sophisticated. Go figure. Your take on your moving into oils as revealed here is so refreshing. I nearly said naive – but can’t take the bad unintended connotation out of that word. While you show significant insight and historical, theoretical and philosophical underpinnings in your observations, it is your ongoing surprise and analysis at your discoveries along the way which lends your whole project the freshness I have mentioned.


      • Well, making porn for 10 years was pretty interesting, but yes I do wish I’d started oil painting earlier, because it’s definitely something that improves with practice. Naive is the right word! But I don’t mind being a beginner again. It’s fun to be on a steep learning curve again. I’m very glad you think my colours are okay, since I’ll never know. I should try putting my paintings through a colour-blindness simulator filter, so people could see an approximation of what I see. Maybe it’s not so different.


      • Liam,

        Have you tried the device being mentioned all over the place which enables colourblindees to see “real” colours?

        There must be some quality in all colour which still enables your judgment and choices to “work”. I wonder if my praise is merely subjective, or whether you really do Get It. I mean, plenty of people fuck up colour big time. That is a really interesting question – I’ll tuck it behind my ear for thinking about sometime.

        And then there’s your suggestion we use the filter allowing us to see the colours as you do.

        Anyway that’s all speculation – but valid given your historic evaluation that you were disqualified from painting in oils.

        These posts of ours, can anyone see them? I was going to make a specific comment on one of your later “documentary” projects. Usually I don’t have a filter on what’s appropriate, but something told me to ask you first haha. There is one comment I would like to make.

        I caught up with a good old friend visiting from Melbourne the other day and during our chat one of your messages came in and so I said I was following this Pommy guy who blogged about his art and mentioned your name and history. His eyes lit up and he said he had friended you on Facebook. He’s Daniel Brace and he is a special man. But Bad haha


      • Totally you can talk about the work I used to do. Feel free. 🙂 And that’s so funny about Daniel. I have a big Facebook crush on him every time his smiling face appears on my feed. What a small world!


      • that is so excellent about Daniel. He has a sensational ginger hue and is one of the truest humans I know. He runs a choir and is the organist at a beautiful church in Melbourne. He produced a major documentary on the history of the AIDS crisis in Australia and our response to it. Oh and he is bad bad bad.

        I wanted to comment on the Chemsex doco. It was a major sensation here for obvious reasons. It caught the attention of the popular press and media too . There was and still is a lot of moralising going on. My own view is that there was an undertone in the film of judgment that chemsex guys who inject crystal meth are bad and doomed. Having said that, it is a well made film which confronts what is clearly a huge issue in a thorough way. But that’s just chat. What i hadn’t expected was the style of the chemsex scenes. I noticed your credit at the end and it clicked. Those scenes are fabulously pornagraphic for me – not only as good porn but because I’m in that population and will continue to be, in some fashion, for quite while I imagine. Those scenes triggered a huge response in my jeans. This was amusing at the time and not a bother except later on I couldn’t really sort out in my mind whether I received the intended message of the film. Evidently not, because I diverted after the party afterwards in that very direction. All of this is neither a criticism or praise for the film. But you clearly haven’t lost any of your skills Liam.

        About the colour blindness glasses. I’m wondering if in fact they’ll let you see colour as “we” do, and whether this might also be problematic for you. My line of reasoning comes from a possible parallel in deaf people. There is a huge resistance from some totally deaf people to having those cochlear implants which enable them to hear. Those deaf from birth sometimes get very attached to the way they have been forced to alternatively communicate – particularly with other deaf people – and they get very insecure with their peers maybe moving into a new world of communication which might leaver them behind and excluded from this sensation called “sound”. They prefer not to have their silent world intruded upon and be forced to leave that world. This amazes me, but it is a THING. What if you see colour differently with those magic glasses and if affects they way you conceive of colour and how you will choose colour in your work? What if you are disturbed afterwards because things are not the same. Oh, I’m probably tallking bullshit. What would be interesting is for you to see your paintings and of course all works that you love and have influenced you and to see if they affect you differently now. I’m rambling on and on because in my mind you’ve GOT colour nailed.

        That’s enough. Can I be your Facebook friend.? There is no wrong answer to that question – and it would’t concern me at all either way. I am a nazi on Facebook and have way fewer than 100 friends – and half of them are family. I just can’t deal with tons of dribble from people who are of marginal interest to me. That is not arrogant I always hope, but realistic.


      • hey Liam, yes that profile is mine. I tried to find you but couldn’t, so maybe you can invite me? You are not blogging again. That is fine. I sincerely, or as much as that can be genuine when you don’t really know someone, hope your submissions for schools have gone well. You will blog when you want to or need to. That is fine. I reckon that over the course of committing your mind to the blog, I have sucked in something of you. Even if I’ve got you wrong, it’s not an ignorant perception. That is a novel experience and I’m privilieged. So that when you next upload one of your daubdaubs I will have no difficulty in attempting some kind of placing of the piece.

        Go to sleep Liam, if I haven’t already got you drowsy.

        Phil x


  2. Pingback: Exhibition reviews: Rauch, Salle, Currin, Ruscha, Koons, Owens | dailydaub

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