Matthew Wong's Landscape Paintings To Headline Phillips Auction This March
After Matthew Wong's painting, River at Dusk sold nearly four times its estimate for HKS37.8 million at Phillips just last December, two of his landscape paintings will headline Phillips' upcoming "New Now" sale on March 3.
With the sale of River at Dusk, the auction juggernaut toppled the previous record set by his own Shangri La (2017) in Christie's in October, selling more than six times its estimate. Many are expecting the same for the upcoming auction with Lotus (2017) estimated at US$400,000–600,000 and Horizon Light (2019) estimated at US$20,000–30,000. Prices for Wong's works have increased more than two hundredfold since his debut show in New York in 2018.
The two works are virtuosic examples of the late artist's sought-after landscape paintings that lead the sale. Taking his artistic forebears as a point of departure to learn from but also transcend, Wong creates dreamlike painterly realms in which colour, line and form powerfully coalesce. His work echoes an overflowing sense of urgency and speed, where viewers can recognise a painter making claim to his own place in art history.
The late artist was born in Toronto and few up with Hong Kong and while he didn't pursue art seriously until 2013, he made sure to make up for the lost time by sharing his work and practice on social media. Through this, he met Matthew Higgs, curator and director of White Columns Gallery. Since then, Wong had his works exhibited at galleries in New York and Hong Kong. A year after his death, Wong's work has attracted interest in the auction market, mainly due to its scarcity.
The upcoming sale will also include Vaughn Spann's Dalmation (No. 3), Lucas Arruda's Untitled and Hernan Bas' Downhill at Dusk (The Runaway) and over 200 other artworks by today's most sought-after artists.