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Sotheby’s Reframes Marquee Sale Categories

Sotheby’s Reframes Marquee Sale Categories & Unveils Star Lots from the November Season in New York

New Evening Format Introduces an Entirely New Sale: ‘The Now’ Evening Auction Alongside redefined ‘Modern’ & ‘Contemporary’ Evening Auctions

Fall Auction Highlights Include:
A Magnificent Early Example of the Alexander Calder’s Mobiles, Monumental in Scale (Modern Evening Auction, est. $10/15m)

Philip Guston’s Ominous Land from 1972, One of the Artist's Final Large-Scale Hooded Figure Paintings From a Key Breakthrough Moment (Contemporary Evening Auction, est. $6/8m)

Yoshitomo Nara’s Nice To See You Again, A Rare Large-Scale Early Work Depicting One of the Artist’s Most Iconic Subjects (The Now Evening Auction, est. $8/12m)

NEW YORK, 5 OCTOBER 2021 -- In 1959 and 1970 respectively, Sotheby’s held its first standalone sales of ‘Impressionist and Modern Art’ and ‘Contemporary Art’. Both sales – or rather sale categories – spoke to their time in terms of both content and approach.

Now, in lockstep with a changing art world and a new approach to collecting, Sotheby’s is reframing both the content and the nomenclature of its Marquee November and May New York sales, with the introduction, starting this fall, of a ‘Modern’ Evening Auction, a ‘Contemporary’ Evening Auction, and an entirely new sale, ‘The Now’ Evening Auction, showcasing some of the most celebrated and promising talent on the art scene today. 

“One of the most exciting aspects of working with today’s collectors is not only their enormous passion but also the tremendous fluidity of their approach: their drive to identify the visual dialogues between works produced at very different moments. Our newly-framed sales of Modern Art and Contemporary Art will provide the perfect context for those conversations to be heard. At the same time, we are seeing the rapid emergence of a new generation of collectors who feel a real connection with the art of their own time, and for them we have created The Now Evening Auction, bringing together both newly canonized artists and the latest rising stars.”
Brooke Lampley, Sotheby’s Chairman & Worldwide Head of Sales for Global Fine Art

“Our approach to redefining the Marquee Evening Sale categories, as well as introducing an entirely new category, are a direct reflection of feedback we’ve received from clients and the trends we’ve noticed in collecting over the past several years. In fine-tuning our approach to Modern and Contemporary art, as well as adding The Now sale, we have created greater flexibility and more opportunities for buyers and sellers to engage with Sotheby’s within a sale structure that mirrors the current demands of the market.”
Mari-Claudia Jiménez, Sotheby's Chairman, Managing Director and Worldwide Head of Business Development,
Global Fine Art

These three new-format sales will commence the day after the historic sale of works from the Macklowe Collection on 15 November.

EVENING SALE: 16 November│ DAY SALE:  17 November

“The term Modern Art encompasses an extraordinary range of movements and isms, but fundamentally it can be understood as art that arises from and responds to a Modern world. That world abruptly came into being in the late 19th century and endured, in many ways until the dawn of the digital age…an urban, industrial, global world where people and ideas intersected for the first time, where engines of war wrought catastrophe while miracles of science and technology unlocked new dimensions of creative possibility. The art of this world rejected history and tradition in favor of innovation and experimentation. It was as much about the soul and psyche of the artist, as well as their materials and technical process, as the ultimate imagery.”
Julian Dawes, Sotheby’s Head of Modern Art, Americas

The Modern Evening Sale will showcase those titans of art history who defined this relentlessly epic period, for the first time uniting masterworks of the European vanguard with their American heirs in a single marquee sale that transcends art movements to reveal a holistic vision of Modern Art. Ranging from the Impressionists through Van Gogh, the Pointillists and Fauves, to Cezanne, the Cubists and the spectacular disruption of the 1910s, Picasso, Duchamp, Surrealism, the Bauhaus and the trans-continental passing of the baton to the American Abstract-Expressionists, the Modern sale will shine a light on the stylistic synergies that connect these various artists and schools.

  • 16.11.2021 - 17.11.2021
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    10788 Yoshitomo Nara, Nice To See You Again
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    Alexander Calder, Untitled, 1949 (Scale)
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