There were murmurings at Art Basel Hong Kong last week about Christie’s plan to reschedule, or cease, its June Post-War and Contemporary Art Auctions in London this year. The auction house confirmed the decision on Friday with a statement saying “Mirroring the model of the New York sales seasons, London will build two main seasons for Post-War and Contemporary Art Auction: March and October.”
The decision reflects an increasing cramped art calendar, and the statement continued “Observing how particularly busy this year is for contemporary collectors with Venice, followed by the New York auctions, documenta (in both Kassel and Athens) and of course Art Basel, Christie’s will offer two stronger seasons for Post-War and Contemporary Art.” But it also follows the recent announcement that Christie’s will close its secondary London salesroom, Christie’s South Kensington, as part of economising measures introduced under new CEO Guillame Cerutti since he took up the post in December.
The next Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction at Christie’s London this year will take place on 6 October during Frieze Week when, says the statement, “the energy of the contemporary art world in London is at its highest.” The London saleroom also moved its Contemporary sales from February to March this year to avoid clashing with Chinese New Year.
“We are always looking to ensure that we offer collectors the very best material at the right moment and as the art world calendar is always evolving, we are leading the market by making changes to meet the needs of our global audience,” said Jussi Pylkkanen, Global President, Christie’s “The aim is to create two highly focused moments in the Post-War and Contemporary Art sales calendar that maximise London’s position at the crossroads of the world art market.”
Christie’s Impressionist Art evening sale continues as normal, however, on 27 June, preceded by the Modern British & Irish Art Evening Sale on 26 June, alongside other day and online sales that week.
Sotheby’s plan to continue with its London contemporary sales in June as usual, while Phlillips is “still in the process of considering options” and yet to make a decision regarding its June 20th Century & Contemporary sales.