The London-based house has recently announced a series of online-only spring auctions throughout the months of April and May, while offering masterworks by blue-chip artists through its online viewing room for private sales. Among them are a rare edition of Hammons’ “African American Flag,” which was originally conceived for the 1990 group exhibition “Black USA” at the Museum Overholland in Amsterdam.
The work on offer reinterprets the US flag in the colors of the Pan-African Flag, with Swiss-born artist Thomas Hirschhorn later commenting that “African American Flag” is “a flag for a new nation, a flag for a new insight, it is a new flag for a new form and a new truth.”Editions of Hammons’ “African American Flag” rarely appear on the market, although they are highly sought-after by collectors and cultural institutions.
The Broad in Los Angeles notably acquired one of Hammons’ dyed-cotton flags in June 2019, making it the first piece by the notoriously reclusive artist to enter the museum’s permanent collection.
Two editions of “African American Flag” went under the hammer in 2017.
A version achieved $2.05 million as part of Phillips’ 20th Century and Contemporary Art evening sale in May, while another sold for more than $2.1 million during Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening auction in November. “It is indeed rare to see David Hammons’ works being offered at auction or for private sale. This flag is, in my opinion, his most iconic and historically important work and will likely be quite difficult to find available for sale in the future. It is rare to see it on the market at this time and we are pleased to be able to offer collectors the opportunity to buy it now,” Miety Heiden, who is Phillips’ Deputy Chairman and Head of Private Sales, told Art Market Monitor.
“African American Flag” is rumored to fetch between $1.5 million and $2.0 million on Phillips’ online viewing room. This high pre-sale estimate is far from Hammons’ current record price of $8 million, which was achieved in 2013 by the “Untitled” chandelier during Phillips’ Contemporary Art evening auction.
Aside from Hammons, Phillips’ digital saleroom offers a selection of pieces by Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, KAWS, Andy Warhol, Banksy and Lucian Freud.
This story was first published via AFP Relaxnews.