Phillips will soon put up a monumental painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat for auction in its upcoming Contemporary Evening Sale. Measuring six by eleven feet, the sprawling work titled Victor 25448 was displayed in Basquiat’s last solo exhibition before his death in 1988 at New York’s Vrej Baghoomian gallery. The large-scale paper on canvas work features several graphics of signs found in Henry Dreyfuss’s 1972 Symbol Sourcebook, as per ARTnews.
One of the more prominent visuals in the neo-expressionist composition is the word “IDEAL” that is painted in the center of the painting. According to Phillips’ deputy chairman, Robert Manley, the text references Basquiat’s relationship with the art market and dealing his works of art. “All of Basquiat’s work, directly or indirectly, expresses his identity as an Black man in a predominantly white art world,” said Manley. “Victor 25448 references the brutality that Black people suffer in many forms and is also a reflection of Basquiat himself.”
Victor 25448 currently has a pre-sale estimate between $8 million USD and $12 million USD. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the work will benefit the Art for Justice Fund — an initiative that seeks to reduce mass incarceration in the U.S.and supported by collector Agnes Gund. The auction will take place on July 2, visit Phillips’ website to learn more.
Elsewhere in art, London is getting two new sculptures to honor the Windrush generation.