The Excitement of a New Season: A Message from CEO Stephen Brooks

As he takes the helm, CEO Stephen Brooks shares why he believes Phillips brings together the best of tradition and progress.

As he takes the helm, CEO Stephen Brooks shares why he believes Phillips brings together the best of tradition and progress.

Photo: Andrew Shaylor Photography.

 


Dear Clients and Friends,


As we embark on the fall auction season at Phillips, I'd like to tell you how delighted and honoured I am to begin the next chapter ahead as Phillips' new CEO, working alongside Edward Dolman, a familiar face to many of you, who is now Phillips' Executive Chairman, and with Cheyenne Westphal, our Global Chairwoman.

It is an extraordinary time for Phillips as we continue to build on the vision and transformational work set out several years ago to become the ultimate auction house for the 21st century collector. Since 2015, Phillips has nearly tripled sales, established a highly successful business in Asia, and created an unrivaled watch business across the world. Like many parts of the economy, the art market has faced challenges during the unprecedented global pandemic. Despite these challenges, Phillips maintained some of the highest sell-through rates in the industry, posting for Spring 2021 the highest six-month sales total of its 225-year history, a 25% increase from 2019 and well beyond pre-pandemic levels.

This spring, Phillips achieved the highest totals in company history for New Now, Design, Editions, and Watches — 100% of all watches offered globally were sold, a white-glove triumph realizing over $68 million. In addition, Phillips achieved a 107% increase in auction totals for sales in Asia and 107% growth in private sales. Our magnificent spaces in London’s Berkeley Square and Hong Kong’s St George’s Building were joined by our new global headquarters at 432 Park Avenue in New York, which opened with its inaugural sales in June. Overall, an astonishing season and just a few of the tremendous building blocks of Phillips' solid foundation for the next phase of exciting work.


Phillips is Different

What motivated me to join Phillips was that, while we remain a highly efficient organization with all the technology and services of a traditional auction house, we are nevertheless inherently unique. We serve our clients across six collecting categories rather than being thinly spread across a more traditional mix; a deliberate decision to be the best in our chosen fields. A focus on the most vibrant and growing categories in the market has allowed us to lead innovation in these fields. As a progressive auction house at the forefront of digital innovation, our goal has been consistent: whether online or in person, we deliver the most exceptional and accessible client experience in the business. Our distinctly human touch, bespoke client advisory, and incomparable and passionate expertise, alongside our powerful digital-first ethos, has made us an unrivaled platform.

Our goal has been consistent: whether online or in person, we deliver the most exceptional and accessible client experience in the business.

Phillips has introduced a range of highly personalized services that complement the day-to-day work of our specialist teams. The new Phillips Art Advisory Service, launched this spring, offers a comprehensive suite of services to support clients through every stage of a collection's life cycle — from the initial acquisition of artwork to long-term collection development and management. This fall, we will launch Phillips Fiduciary Services, a multi-lingual, global service provided exclusively for professional advisors and fiduciaries, and offering holistic guidance for the lifespan of their client’s collection. Articker, an exclusive Phillips product, offers real-time daily analysis of the art world using algorithmic intelligence to mine millions of online articles and identify emerging markets. Participating in our auctions has never been easier thanks to The Phillips App, which allows users to browse upcoming sales, track favorite lots and place bids in our live auctions from anywhere on their personal devices, offering the first truly mobile auction salesroom.


Phillips Makes the Market

Phillips is known for breaking down the silos that once dominated the auction world. Spring 2021 yielded exciting artist records for many auction stars making an extraordinary impact in our time, underscoring our stronghold on the soaring market for emerging artists. This new generation includes Kehinde Wiley, Avery Singer, Hernan Bas, Katherine Bradford, Salman Toor, Emily Mae Smith, and Jadé Fadojutimi. Phillips likewise introduced artists to the secondary market, including Rebecca Ness, Allison Zuckerman, Nikki Maloof, Brandon Landers, and Lina Iris Viktor.


Phillips This Fall

As part of our 28 September New Now New York auction, Phillips is presenting The Crossover, curated by Saint Fleur, featuring a selection of works by 13 artists — from established names such as Rashid Johnson to auction newcomers Milo Matthieu, Delphine Desane, Deborah Roberts, and Robert Peterson. Participating artists are donating proceeds from the sale to support Project Backboard. Looking further ahead to the coming season, Phillips will offer an array of outstanding art experiences across our categories and salerooms, including 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Jewelry, Watches, Photographs, Design, and Editions. For a full schedule of upcoming sales, please visit the Phillips Auction Calendar >

We hope you will visit Phillips’ new headquarters at 432 Park Avenue in Manhattan and Phillips Berkeley Square, London, for the extraordinary art on offer. Whether attending online or in person, this season promises to be a vibrant and spectacular series of sales that we are certain you will enjoy.


Kindest Regards,


Stephen Brooks,
Chief Executive Officer

 


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