In a Bid to Buoy Berlin’s Robust Cultural Community, Artists and Galleries Are Auctioning Off Works in an Unlikely Sale

A portion of the proceeds from the online auction will benefit the Nationalgalerie's contemporary art acquisitions fund.

Carolein Smit, Großer Reliquienschädel (2010). Courtesy of KvS Auction.
Carolein Smit, ≤i≥Großer Reliquienschädel ≤/i≥ (2010). Courtesy of KvS Auction.

The lockdown era has resulted in unlikely collaborations between auction houses and galleries—institutions that normally operate on opposite sides of the art-sales court. In the latest example of such a partnership, one-year-old auction house KvS Auctions is teaming up with Berlin’s artists and galleries to launch the Berlin Gallery Sale, a 37-lot auction on July 8. The inventory heads to the block directly from Berlin galleries and artists’ studios. 

Thirteen Berlin-based galleries will offer works—among them Sies + Höke, Sprüth Magers, Johann König, and Thomas Schulte. Collectors will have the chance to snap up examples by sought-after artists Katharina Grosse, Olafur Eliasson, Alicja Kwade, and Jeppe Hein, among other leading contemporary names. 

Susumu Kamijo, Unexpected Visitor (2019). Courtesy of KvS Auctions

Susumu Kamijo, Unexpected Visitor (2019). Courtesy of KvS Auctions.

The unconventional sale—which will cross primary and secondary markets—is intended to give local galleries and artists a boost after months of closure and fair cancellations, as well as to create a unifying event for the art-centric city. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Nationalgalerie’s fund for the purchase of contemporary art.

“Artists, gallery owners, and collectors have come together to give Berlin an international platform,” said auctioneer Kilian von Seldeneck of the sale. “Berlin is fortunately blessed with world-class artists, so we expect collectors from all over the world.”

Berlin-based collectors are also involved in the effort. Julia Stoschek, the leading collector of time-based art, has opened her collection space, housed in the historic cinema hall of the former Czechoslovak Cultural Centre, for the sale preview. Guests can visit the space by appointment. The auction will take place online on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Bids will also be accepted by phone.


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