Phillips de Pury's new flagship gallery in New York has got off to an auspicious start. The inaugural 'Carte Blanche' and 'Contemporary Art Part I' auction at the 20,000 sq ft space on Park Avenue fetched an epic $137 million - its most successful to date - with Andy Warhol's 'Men in Her Life' (1962) going for $63.4 million alone, the second highest figure ever paid for a Warhol at auction.
The new three-floor space on the corner of 57th Street and Park Avenue has undergone an extensive nine-month renovation in readiness for launch. Combined with the success of the auction, the gallery will help cement Phillips de Pury's position as a serious contender on the New York art scene.
Also under the hammer were works by the likes of Takashi Murakami, Paul McCarthy, Thomas Schütte and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Curated by Philippe Ségalot, an influential private art advisor and former international head of contemporary art at Christie's, the auction was the first in a series of Carte Blanche sales to be devised by artists, collectors and gallery owners. It follows a bumper week for the art market in New York, with successful sales of impressionist and modern art also coming from Sotheby's and Christie's.