Phillips auction house decamps to a new Berkeley Square base designed by Aukett Swanke

A submerged red telephone booth is set on the gallery room floor.
'Submerged Phone Booth', 2006, by Banksy, is up for auction this week at the Contemporary Art Evening at Phillips' new Berkeley Square location
(Image credit: TBC)

The arrival of the Phillips auction house at 30 Berkeley Square confirms Mayfair's emergence as the art market's prime pitch. And with Caruso St John currently working up plans for Larry Gagosian's mammoth new gallery round the corner on Grosvenor Hill, Mayfair's top spot looks beyond dispute.

The auction house's new European HQ, with a double-height shopfront facing onto Mount Street and Berkeley Square itself, is also an acknowledgment that art and collectible design are now as much luxury goodies as the Céline robes or Balenciaga bags available across the road. Opening the new showroom last week, Ed Dolman – appointed Phillips' chairman and chief executive in July, after three years at the Qatar Museums Authority and 27 at Christie's before that – called it part of the 'contemporary luxury landscape'.

Bankrolled by Mercury, the Russian luxury-goods group, Phillips has decamped from its base at Howick Place in Victoria – an area that, ironically, now boasts a cluster of fashion-brand HQs but is perhaps off the map as far as international art collectors are concerned. The new Berkeley Square space is a suitably luxurious 31,000 square feet.

This new base of operations, designed by architects Aukett Swanke, has vaulted exhibition spaces on the ground floor and lower ground floor with further exhibition space on the first and sixth floors (which also features a café and terraces).

Phillips has drafted in Italian curator Francesco Bonami to ensure the showroom opens in spectacular fashion and make clear what is possible in the voluminous new space. His exhibition, 'A Very Short History of Contmporary Sculpture', includes 33 works by Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Jeff Koons, Rachel Whiteread, Richard Prince, Matthew Barney, Sol LeWitt and Anthony Caro, among others – all given space to shine and catch the eye of passers-by. Only two of the works, however, are for sale, further 'blurring the boundaries between gallery, auction house and museum', as Bonami says.

The gallery on the lower ground floor has been given over to a preview of the inaugural evening sale on 15 October, with works by Kippenberger, Kiefer, Kapoor, Richter, Koons and Warhol – as well as from younger artists on the rise, including Tauba Auerbach, Sterling Ruby and Wyatt Kahn. The sixth-floor gallery is previewing the 16 October day sale, while Phillips' worldwide design director Alex Payne is building buzz around his December design sale in New York by sneaking five Carlo Mollino pieces into the lobby. Payne is also looking forward to making the most of Phillips' new London home with plans to install a Prouvé prefab on the ground floor before April's design sale.

A blue modern painting is hung on the wall to the left. A red spherical, reflective art piece is set to the right.

Left is Martin Kippenberger's 'Untitled', 1991, from the Krieg Böse/War Wicked series. Right: Anish Kapoor's 'Untitled', 2000

(Image credit: TBC)

We see three paintings hung on the wall. From the left, the painting shows men on horses, hunting. The second painting is all silver and reflective. The third painting shows nature with a pond in the center.

From the left, 'Hunting Party' by Kour Pour, 2011; 'Almost Faded' by Lucien Smith, 2012; and 'The Commons' by Mark Flood, 2013

(Image credit: TBC)

A sculpture of a rabbit-like figure hitting a drum that's held in one hand.

In the foreground is Barry Flanagan's 'Left Handed Drummer',1997

(Image credit: TBC)

A sculpture of animals lying on top of each other. We have a pig, a goat, two dogs, and a bird.

Francesco Bonami curated the exhibition 'A Very Short History of Contemporary Sculpture', featuring Jeff Koons' 'Stacked', 1988

(Image credit: TBC)

A steel structure representing a 'canal'.

Anthony Caro's rusted-steel 'Canal', 1971, at 'A Very Short History of Contemporary Sculpture'. Behind, to the right, is Rachel Whiteread's 'In Out X', 200

(Image credit: TBC)

A bronze cradle sits on the floor, with a metal walker behind it. There is a medicine cabinet on the wall behind them.

Sherrie Levine's cast-bronze 'The Cradle', 2009, with, from left, 'Objectification Process' by Cady Noland, 1989; 'God' by Damien Hirst, 1989; and 'The Cabinet of Bessie Gilmore' by Matthew Barney, 1999

(Image credit: TBC)

A sculpture of a Crying Roman Togatus.

Francesco Vezzoli's 'Antique Not Antique: Self-Portrait as a Crying Roman Togatus', 2012. On the wall is Maurizio Cattelan's 'Untitled', 2007, and at right is Lygia Clark's 'Trepante', 1965

(Image credit: TBC)

A wider look at the gallery room. We see a sculpture of a boy in the back, two sculptures on the stand of a green shell and a hollow black cylinder. Further back we see a sculpture of animals stacked one on another.

From the left: 'Boy' by Charles Ray,1992; 'Untitled (Menziken 88-16)' by Donald Judd, 1988'Untitled (Tube)' by Peter Fischli and David Weiss, 2011-2012; 'Delivery Man' by Duane Hanson, 1980 and 'Muschel/Shell' by Katharina Fritsch, 2013

(Image credit: TBC)

A steel structure called 'Canal' is in the foreground, with a sculpture of a white door leaning on the wall.

Thomas Schütte's 'Kleiner Respekt', 1994, is flanked by Anthony Caro's 'Canal' and Rachel Whiteread's 'In Out X'

(Image credit: TBC)

We see a sculpture of a boy in the back, with a sculpture of a delivery man. White shelves with red & black inside are stacked vertically on the wall.

Charles Ray's 'Boy'; Donald Judd's 'Untitled (Menziken 88-16)'; Duane Hanson's 'Delivery Man'; and Anthony Caro's 'Canal' with 'Incomplete Open Cube 6/10, 1974' (1990) by Sol Lewitt

(Image credit: TBC)


30 Berkeley Square
London W1J 6EX