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Last week, Sotheby’s announced that a number of their upcoming sales in March and April will be held as online auctions. As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the auction house decided this was the best way to insure their staff and client’s safety.
Online sales have been a successful part of Sotheby’s for several years. Last year, Sotheby’s had 129 online sales that reached a total of $80 million dollars.
These particular online sales will gather everything from design to photographs and contemporary art to prints and multiples. Bidding will close on March 31 for Design and will include works from the collection of Marc Jacobs, including Jean Prouvé’s Pair of “Direction” Armchairs, Model No. 352, circa 1951. For photographs, bidding will close on April 3 and will include Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Still #81 (1980). The Contemporary Curated bids will open on April 14 and close on April 21. The sale will include George Condo’s Antipodal Reunion (2005). Finally, the bidding for Prints & Multiples will open on April 17 and close on April 28. The sale includes Andy Warhol’s Grapes (Feldman & Schellmann II.190-195), the complete set of six screen prints in color from 1979.
Sotheby’s CEO Charles F. Stewart said, “Sotheby’s has invested heavily in technology to ensure that we have the very best digital tools in the marketplace – including our proprietary online platform—which we are using to benefit and support our clients.”
Sotheby’s has also announced the debut of an immersive digital catalogue that will be available online starting April 15 for its Contemporary Curated and Prints & Multiples sales. Through video, interactive media, and other formats, the platform will go beyond print media and encourage deeper engagement with each sale.