Christie’s and Phillips Are Both Canceling Their Spring Art Sales in Favor of Having Giant Mega-Auctions in June

The sales will now take place this June in New York.

The facade of Christie's London auction house. Courtesy of Christie's.
The facade of Christie's London auction house. Courtesy of Christie's.

Both Christie’s and Phillips auction houses announced today that they will be delaying their spring New York auctions, originally planned for May, until June. They are keeping their Hong Kong auctions on schedule for late May as the region appears to be rebounding from its public health crisis.

Christie’s auctions of Impressionist and modern art, as well as postwar and contemporary art, will now take place in New York from June 23 to June 28. The sales will include the house’s usual London auctions in the same categories, all folded into a single consolidated New York season. Specialists are in the process of discussing the changes with would-be consignors to the London sale, according to Christie’s president of North and South America Jennifer Zatorski.

Philips will now hold its 20th century and contemporary art sales in New York the week of June 22, also consolidating its New York and London sales into one week.

“So far there has been nothing but full understanding and positivity from consignors,” said Christie’s global president Jussi Pylkannen on a conference call with journalists this morning. “We’re getting the message out quite early so that clients can plan accordingly. The consignors from Europe that I’ve been dealing with over the past two weeks have been very happy to hear that there is a plan that allows the sale at the same time they would have been held here in London but to consolidate with the sales in New York and collectors and consignors can focus on one location.”

Asked if the new schedule could result in a permanent lineup change, Pylkkanen said, “We’re just reacting to a particular issue. We don’t think that early May is a good time to schedule sales in New York. This seems to be a very sensible, rational way of dealing with it.”

Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti pointed to strong recent sales in New York and London and robust private sale activity in recent months, but conceded that consignors “are more cautious” at the moment. “They are waiting to see if they can postpone their decision about selling.”

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, the spring Asian art and luxury sales remain scheduled to take place from May 30 to June 3. And Geneva’s Luxury Week, which includes sales of jewels, watches, and wine, is still scheduled to take place June 29 to July 1, having been moved from mid May.

Phillips’s Hong Kong sales are still slated for May 31 to June 2. Dates for a series of auctions planned in London in early June have yet to be be announced.

“As we navigate through these difficult times together, we are taking positive steps in announcing plans for future auctions,” Phillips CEO Edward Dolman and global chairwoman Cheyenne Westphal said in a joint statement.


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