Phillips announces the first private selling sculpture exhibition to be sold online through Phillips X

Art Daily
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Willem de Kooning, Seated Woman on a Bench, 1972. Image courtesy of Phillips.
Willem de Kooning, Seated Woman on a Bench, 1972. Image courtesy of Phillips.

NEW YORK, NY.-Phillips announced Ground / Breaking, the first dedicated sculpture exhibition to be sold online through Phillips X, Phillips’ private selling exhibition platform. This curated selection of 39 pieces explores the trajectory of 20th and 21st century & contemporary sculpture. Online from 9 April to 21 May 2021, Ground / Breaking will feature works by world renowned artists including Thomas Schütte, Jeff Koons, Willem de Kooning, Ugo Rondinone, Ai Weiwei, Sarah Lucas, Franz West, George Condo, Duane Hanson, and Arthur Jafa, among others.

Miety Heiden, Phillips’ Head of Private Sales, said, ‘As Phillips’ first dedicated online sculpture exhibition Ground / Breaking presents an exciting next step for Phillips X. From Willem de Kooning’s Seated Woman on a Bench and Duane Hanson’s life-size 1980s Cowboy through to George Condo’s gold patinated bronze God 2 and Ai Weiwei’s monumental Iron Tree, the 39 works on view traverse a broad expanse of recent sculptural art history. We look forward to welcoming our global audience to Phillips X to view and interact with this exciting selection of sculptures from 9 April to 21 May.’

One of the seventeen sculptures that make up Thomas Schütte’s Grosser Giester series which translates as “Big Spirits”, is Grosser Geist Nr. 6 which was executed in 1998. In the Grosser Giester series Schütte’s figures are all mid proclamation, fluctuating precariously between two states with arms outflung in some mysterious gesture. This is shown in the present work where the subject’s emotional exclamation remains unidentified and open to interpretation. The other pieces from this series reside in distinguished museum collections, including the Kunstmuseum Wolfburg, Centre Pompidou, Museum of Modern Art Chicago, and Beyeler Foundation.

Jeff Koons’ Balloon Venus Dolni Vestonice (Orange), towering at over nine feet tall, comes from a series of works through which Koons explored different interpretations of the female form, the human cycle of life and fertility. Koons’ Balloon Venus Dolni series was inspired by two distinctly different relics of art history; a miniature female figurine from the Upper Palaeolithic era circa 50,000-10,000 BCE, and a 15th-century miniature titled Allegory of Transience or Vanitas. The present work, made of mirror polished stainless steel in a distinct burnt orange colour, is one of five unique versions in the series of differing colours.

Looming at over thirty-two feet tall is another monumental work to highlight in the exhibition, Ugo Rondinone’s the melancholic. Presenting a distinct comparison to the emotional exclamation of Thomas Schütte’s Grosser Geist Nr. 6, the melancholic by contrast is silent and still. One of Rondinone’s Human Nature bluestone series inspired by the human condition, the melancholic is hulking in essence and overcome with an air of stillness. A gentle, looming, urban titan, the melancholic is eternally present to remind us of our endless potential.

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James Ardis
James Ardis
Senior Writer and Editor

James Ardis is a writer, editor, and content strategist focused on the auction industry. His company, James Ardis Writing, has partnered with auction houses, galleries, and many clients outside the art world.

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