Sotheby’s Packs Its Major Spring Sales Into One Week

First Christie's, Now Sotheby's.

Photo: Sotheby's.

Less than a year after Christie’s shook up the traditional spring and fall auction season by combining works into hybrid sale categories and jam-packing all auctions into a single week, archrival Sotheby’s has made a similar move.

Sotheby’s announced this afternoon, it will hold sales of 20th- and 21st-century art—ranging from Monet and Picasso to Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman, during a single week, starting May 9. Practically speaking, rather than hold the Impressionist & modern art sales in one week followed by the contemporary art sales the next week, they’ll hold both the evening and day sales in each category (four sales in total) all in one week.

In a statement, Sotheby’s said the change reflects today’s market and is “in response to evolving taste of the world’s great collectors.” All of the work from all four sales will be shown together in a 10-day pre-sale exhibition opening April 29.

Sotheby’s said it will use its over 65,000 square feet of exhibition space at its York Avenue headquarters to showcase the wide range of art.

“We were weighing our options,” said Alexander Rotter, Sotheby’s co-head of contemporary art worldwide, in a phone interview with artnet News. “The main argument for it is we can take advantage of this ten-storey building that we have—we have eight floors to hang on,” added Rotter. “If we focus our combined efforts on the 20th century—meaning Impressionist, modern, and contemporary art—we can do a beautiful exhibition.”

Rotter points out that the exhibition can also run for a longer period of time as compared with separate, shorter pre-auction shows for each of the Impressionist and contemporary sales. “I think clients will appreciate it that they see all of it together. There is a good percent of collectors that looks at contemporary paintings but also looks at and appreciates Picasso.”


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