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Sotheby's to Offer Collection of Damien Hirst's Business Manager, Frank Dunphy

  • Auktion
    Sotheby's to Offer Collection of Damien Hirst's Business Manager, Frank Dunphy
    20.09.2018

YELLOW BALL: THE FRANK AND LORNA DUNPHY COLLECTION TELLING THE STORY OF ONE OF THE MOST TRANSFORMATIVE ART WORLD COLLABORATIONS OF OUR TIMES Over 200 works from the Collection of Lorna and Frank Dunphy, Former Business Manager to Damien Hirst Chronicles Life at the Heart of the YBA Scene Alongside Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Michael Craig-Martin and Rachel Whiteread

18 June 2018 – In September 2018, Sotheby’s London will celebrate one of the most extraordinary art world collaborations of our times: that of Damien Hirst and his unstoppable business manager, mentor and ‘partner in crime’, Frank Dunphy.

Yellow Ball: The Frank and Lorna Dunphy Collection - a two-part sale and exhibition of over 200 artworks - will tell the story behind the stratospheric rise of Damien Hirst, at the same time charting the iconoclastic 1990s art scene of which Frank and Lorna Dunphy were at the very heart.

Married for thirty years this year, Frank and Lorna’s first meeting took place around a snooker table in London in 1981. It was the first night during which The Green Room, an actors’ club, allowed women to enter, and it was then that Lorna caught the attention of Frank, who was playing snooker with friends. When Frank played the ‘yellow ball’, he saw Lorna for the first time.

The yellow ball then became a central motif in their life together: they named their company Yellow Ball Management, and a circular butterfly painting, Smashing Yellow Ball at Peace Painting, 2008, (est. £100,000- £150,000) was given to the pair when Frank and Hirst ended their partnership. Frank and Lorna even toyed with the idea of having a yellow ball shaped carriage at their wedding, but settled instead for a gold car with a shag pile carpet.

Following Frank’s appointment as Hirst’s business manager in 1995, he went on to play a crucial role in Hirst’s ascent into one of the most commercially successful artists of all time. Over 15 years, he helped mastermind ventures such as the private sale of Hymn in 1999, the first work by the artist to sell for over £1 million; the repurchase of nearly a third of Charles Saatchi’s holdings of early Hirst works in 2003 in an unprecedented move; and both Sotheby’s ‘Pharmacy’ (2004) and ‘Beautiful Inside My Head Forever’ auctions (2008).

At the core of the collection are a number of works by Damien Hirst - most made especially for the Dunphys, given as tokens of affection or in jest - which together chronicle the work and the play behind their adventures together. Numerous pieces by the YBAs also speak to the spirit of the times. These artists made up Frank and Lorna’s world, with long nights spent together at their favourite haunt The Groucho Club (where the Dunphys held their wedding reception). The central place this tight-knit group occupied in Frank and Lorna’s lives is brought to life by the many pieces they made specifically with the Dunphys, or their homes, in mind.

Frank and Lorna Dunphy said: “The art scene has been our life for the past 30 years. Living with the art has been like living with our friends. Much of it is steeped in happy memories, and much of it we bought ourselves simply because we loved it. But time waits for no man, and the time has come to say goodbye to some of the art, though not the memories nor to the friendships”.

Oliver Barker, Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe: “Behind every great creative genius is a Svengali-type character who helps unleash and channel their brilliance. For Damien Hirst this was Frank Dunphy, whose midas touch is now legendary. You walk into a room inhabited by Frank and Lorna and you feel reunited with your oldest friends, but at the same time you know are in the presence of two of the most ingenious and inspirational minds you’ll ever encounter.”






  • 20.09.2018
    Auktion »
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus »

    Highlights Exhibition 22-26 June

    Sotheby’s London Sale on 20 September

    Online Auction 11-21 September
     

    Full Exhibition 15-20 September.

     

     

    Exhibitions Dates
    Highlights exhibition 22-26 June, Sotheby’s 34-35 New Bond Street, London
    Full exhibition 15-20 September, Sotheby’s 34-35 New Bond Street, London

    Auction Details
    1. Live Auction on 20th September, 1PM
    2. Online Auction 11-21 September



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  • Yellow Ball: The Frank and Lorna Dunphy Collection
    Yellow Ball: The Frank and Lorna Dunphy Collection
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Damien Hirst_beautiful, all round, lovely day, big toys for big kids, Frank and Lorna, when we are no longer children we are already dead painting_£150,000-£200,000
    Damien Hirst_beautiful, all round, lovely day, big toys for big kids, Frank and Lorna, when we are no longer children we are already dead painting_£150,000-£200,000
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Damien Hirst_Bust of Frank_£25,000-35,000
    Damien Hirst_Bust of Frank_£25,000-35,000
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese 1961, £600,000-800,000)
    Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese 1961, £600,000-800,000)
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Andy Warhol_Dollar Sign_£200,000-300,000
    Andy Warhol_Dollar Sign_£200,000-300,000
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  • Damien Hirst_ Smashing yellow ball at peace_£100,000- £150,000
    Damien Hirst_ Smashing yellow ball at peace_£100,000- £150,000
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  • Lorna and Frank Dunphy, 2018
    Lorna and Frank Dunphy, 2018
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
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