|Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘F’)” (1955), is among the paintings heading for auction that is estimated to bring in more than $20 million.Credit...Christie's Images Ltd. 2020|
The months of June and July are crucial for the global art market in testing its strength to bounce back, even during the covid-19 pandemic. Three leading auction houses, Sotheby's, Christie's and Philips are set for their first live sales, which were postponed in March.
The global auction scene, including sales in Nigeria have been halted since March. Sogal art auction and Arthouse Contemporary, both in Lagos have been put on hold. Perhaps, the boldness of the world's leading auction houses to open sales would encourage others, including Nigerian environment to open after the ease of lockdown is lifted.
Sotheby's goes first to test the waters on June 29 with a New York sale, which features, among others a Francis Becon piece expected to sell for more than $60 million at the Contemporary Art Evening Auction. The Francis Bacon’s large-format Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus (1981) goes to Sotheby’s Contemporary, Impressionist and Modern Art auctions.
For Christie’s, a July 10 sale tagged 'ONE: A Global Sale of the 20th Century,' the auction features works of Impressionist, modern and contemporary art from its salesrooms in Hong Kong, Paris, London and New York. In a statement, Christie's said the relay auction style gives owners of premium price works opportunity to sell in a globally marketed live sale preceded by public previews where lockdown does not exist.
The auction house explained that its new relay-style sale is scheduled to last about two hours, featuring 50 to 70 lots. It takes off in Hong Kong at 8 p.m. local time, continues across time zones, into afternoon sale in Europe, morning session in the U.S. and closing 10 a.m. Eastern time. However, the traditional bidding by online, telephone and (where allowed) live previews can still hold, the auction house stated.
Philips' 20th century and contemporary art sales in New York goes for June 22. CEO, Edward Dolman and global chairwoman Cheyenne Westphal said in a joint statement: "As we navigate through these difficult times together, we are taking positive steps in announcing plans for future auctions.”