The top lots are also auctioned online

Francis Bacon

Top lot at Sotheby’s is the large-format triptych “Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus” (1981), which is sold by the private Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo. At least 60 million dollars are expected (excerpt).

(Photo: Sotheby’s / VG Bild-Kunst 2020)

New York The important New York spring auctions, which usually attract hundreds of market participants from all over the world, had to be canceled in May due to Covid-19. Now did Sotheby’s and Christie’s alternative plans known.

The surprisingly successful online auctions of the last two months opened up completely new opportunities for them. “Since the beginning of March, we have seen a year-on-year increase of 500 percent in online-only auctions,” said Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart in an online press conference last Friday. “We held 71 auctions that raised $ 127 million,” said Stewart. With the help of the latest technology, Sotheby’s will now auction top lots from impressionists to contemporaries on June 29th.

Collectors can only watch the London-based auctioneer Oliver Barker via their various screens on June 29 from 6:30 p.m. New York time. For the first time, Sotheby’s Senior Director and Chairman Europe will take calls from international colleagues and online bids from customers over an entire wall of screens in a specially set up London studio. The huge auction room in New York, however, remains empty. If you want to preview, you can do so from June 8th by appointment and with Corona conditions.

Once again, Francis Bacon claims the top position at Sotheby’s. His large-format triptych “Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus” (1981) is sold by the private Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo. At least 60 million dollars are to be raised for the benefit of the Hans Rasmus Astrup Foundation.

Above all, Sotheby’s was able to win some important large estates. The gallery owner Ginny Williams from Denver, for example, has focused far-sightedly on works by contemporary artists since the 1970s. In this way she amassed the largest collection of early works by her close friend Louise Bourgeois. But Joan Mitchell, who is currently so highly rated, is also well represented. The large gestural format “Straw” (1976) is expected to bring in at least five million dollars.

Auction across four time zones

Latin American surrealists also make a big entrance. The colorful oil painting “Omi Obini” by Cuban Wifredo Lam is preparing to renew the record for an artist from South America with its estimate of 8 to 12 million dollars.

Competitor Christie’s announced the “One: A Global Sale of the 20th Century” auction two weeks ago for July 10th: A kind of relay race through four time zones is planned for art from the Impressionists to today’s design, starting at 8:00 pm local time in Hong Kong, via Paris, London, to New York.

At Christie’s, Pablo Picasso is once again one of the top lots. “Les Femmes d’Algers (Version F)” is said to cost around $ 25 million. The “O” version brought in $ 179 million in 2015. The late act “Nude with Joyous Painting” is estimated at around $ 30 million. Competitor Phillips wants to auction live on July 2nd in New York.

More: Online only auctions: Old masters find huge sales on the Internet

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