Christie’s Will Replace Its Marquee June Sales in New York With a Streaming ‘Relay’ Auction to Unfold Across Four Cities Worldwide

The sale kicks off at 8 p.m. local time in Hong Kong on July 10.

Roy Lichtenstein, Nude with Joyous Painting (1994). Image courtesy Christie's
Roy Lichtenstein, Nude with Joyous Painting (1994). Image courtesy Christie's

Forced to delay sales during one of its most high-profile seasons, Christie’s has unveiled a radical solution to holding the star-studded auctions of Impressionist, modern, postwar, and contemporary art it had planned for New York during the week of June 22: a four-part “relay” sale that will take place across four international art-market hubs.

The streaming event, dubbed “One: A Global Sale of the 20th Century,” kicks off at 8 p.m. in Hong Kong on July 10 and will move in real time to showrooms in Paris, London, and New York. A different auctioneer in each region will lead each part of the sale.

The auction house says the entire event should unfold across roughly two hours, ending at 10 p.m. in Hong Kong, or 10 a.m. in New York.

Pablo Picasso, Les femmes d'Alger (version 'F') (1955). Image courtesy Christie's

Pablo Picasso, Les femmes d’Alger (version ‘F’) (1955). Image courtesy Christie’s

Bidders will be able to participate online and—in cities where lockdown measures have been eased enough to allow for live audiences—will have the option to attend in person.

Christie’s says it hopes to “capture the excitement and drama of the gala evening sale, while offering access regionally and the accessibility of the online platform.”

Giovanna Bertazzoni, Christie’s co-chairman of Impressionist and modern art, described the auction as “a hybrid-format concept sale,” and said it’s “a way to adapt and innovate.”

Ed Ruscha, Annie (1962). Image courtesy Christie's

Ed Ruscha, Annie (1962). Image courtesy Christie’s

The auction house has rolled out an impressive lineup of works priced in the eight figures to inaugurate the new model.

Artworks for sale will include Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger (version ‘F’) (1955), estimated at around $25 million; Roy Lichtenstein’s Nude with Joyous Painting (1994), estimated at around $30 million; Ed Ruscha’s Annie (1962), estimated at $20 million to $30 million; and Zao Wou-Ki’s 21.10.63 (1963), estimated to sell for above $10 million.

Each city will host a pre-sale public exhibition, staged in accordance with local health guidelines, along with a virtual exhibition. Christie’s says auctioneers in each region will solicit bids in the local currency.

“We felt that it was vital that we meet this new reality with an innovative platform,” Alex Rotter, chairman of postwar and contemporary art, said in a statement.


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