Sotheby’s plan to hold an auction for the sale of paintings worth $ 60 million on Monday evening will be the first real test on the world art market after the coronavirus pandemic – and is a bold experiment with a centuries-old model of sales auctions.
Sotheby’s seeks to sell artworks worth more than $ 300 million through a series of auctions starting Monday night and continuing through Tuesday. Sales that replace canceled auctions in May occur when the economy and the stock market are faced with new pressure from the Covid crisis, and many wealthy people hold back large purchases until the presidential election.
Many potential bidders could not view the work personally, given the restrictions of visitors at Sotheby’s headquarters in New York, and bidders will not be able to physically attend the auction.
Sotheby’s expects a new form of virtual live auction with telephone and online bidding and a live auctioneer in London, as well as an increase in interest from new online buyers in order to get the high-end market out of the crisis.
“We have been incredibly impressed over the past three months, despite the entire contextual background, how sustainable the market was,” said Charles Stewart, CEO of Sotheby’s. “I would say that in many ways we are seeing an increase in the involvement of our collectors.”
However, the restoration of the art market in the coming months is likely to be very uneven, especially for non-masterpieces that are not yet known. A new Bank of America report says sellers are likely to stand by during the summer, which will limit the supply of jobs for sale. He said that the proposal could “increase sharply” in the fall, which will lead to lower prices and then stabilize, while prices will fall by 10-15%, depending on the spread of the virus.
H / O: Roy Lichtenstein “White Smear I”
“Demand – a function of the mood of the collector – will ultimately be determined by medical reality, the level of the stock market and the liquidity of the buyer,” the report says. “Prices for several masterpieces at which trade should remain stable, but hyper-modern work and mid-market work are likely to face downward pressure.”
Sotheby’s sales star is Francis Bacon’s Triptych Inspired by Aeschylus by Aeschylus, which is expected to be sold for more than $ 60 million. Another widescreen triptych of the 20th century artist was auctioned in 2013 by Elaine Wynn for $ 142.4 million.
Sotheby’s will also sell valuable paintings by Clifford Still. It is estimated that it will be sold for 25–35 million dollars. And he has the influential “White Smear” of Roy Lichtenstein in the amount of 20 to 30 million dollars.
Sotheby’s and Christie’s have a different approach to the new auction landscape. Sotheby’s main auction on Monday night will be “live” in the sense that it will be held by an auctioneer in London, but there will be no other people in the hall. Instead, the auctioneer will be surrounded by video screens showing Sotheby’s colleagues in New York and Hong Kong who will bid for customers over the phone. The auctioneer will also accept applications online.
Stewart said that even before Covid, many collectors had already bid on telephone auctions. The pandemic also triggered a new wave of collectors who discovered auction houses and collectibles while browsing online.
Since March, Sotheby’s has conducted more than 100 online sales totaling about $ 200 million. This compares with only 40 sales totaling $ 23 million for the same period last year.
Clifford Still “1947-Y-No. 1”
Sotheby’s has also added new features to its app and website, which makes it easier for collectors to learn about certain items and delve into these features. On Wednesday, Sotheby’s launched a new augmented reality feature in its application, which allows users to actually place a picture on their wall and see it from any perspective. While the art world has been talking about increasing online sales over the years, most galleries, dealers, and auction houses have slowly adapted – so far.
“We have clearly overcome the tipping point,” said Stuart. “We have our entire organization and our community of collectors who are engaged in these new ways of studying art, following the auction, attending the exhibition and, ultimately, bidding at the auction. All of this was revolutionized. ”
Christie’s will conduct a live auction on July 10, which he calls the “relay auction.” The first auction will begin with an auctioneer in Hong Kong, then an auction will be held in London and, finally, in New York. The auction will feature the giant of Liechtenstein “Nude with a joyful painting”, valued at $ 30 million, and “Annie” Ed Rusch, estimated at 20-30 million dollars.