Christie’s is constantly reinventing itself. Given the fact that the art market has not suffered greatly from the financial crisis, their miraculous twists and turns of late have been received with great praise also providing a healthy profit for the legendary auction house. Recently the company has announced what it has in store for the rest of the summer and how they will be approaching the Olympics in their own particular way. Most noticeably in the weather, summer is coming to a close and Autumn will be arriving shortly as well. In addition to finishing off a some what unexpected summer of growth, they have announced some plans for the upcoming Autumn program.
The Olympic fever has hit auction houses in London. The Olympics thus far, have seemed to only creep into existence as tubes become busier and streets that are normally abandoned draw a slight presence. It has not until recently even felt that they were even going to be happening. Christie’s has been preparing for it and will be presenting an auction to show off some of the best that the city of London has to offer. From 27 July to 3 September they will be hosting the “London Sale” in Kensington to coincide with the game commencement. It appears they will be bringing everything out for this sale from, fashion, to collection souvenirs, and paintings of the great city. Nothing has been mentioned as of yet with regards to the artists that will be offering work, the next week will certainly reveal more as the dates approach. There will be 150 lots up for offer during the auction, covering a multitude of different items.
Following the “London Sale” Christie’s will launch itself into the digital. Although digital auctions are not new and a large portions of sales and offerings are dealt with online, Christie’s will officially launch it’s online platform on 6 August. The digital platform has not been revealed as a permanent appendage to the company, abruptly ending on the 20th of the same month. It appears to be a test for the company to see if they will be able to explore greater profits through digital means as well as maintaining a physical presence. Although this is uncertain a vast number of auction houses, small and large have made the jump into the digital and have established themselves successfully. There is a certain amount of personality lost when auctions are held entirely online. It does not appear at this point that Christie’s is moving entirely in this direction. According to the auction giant’s website, they are looking to create greater convenience for their clients on a global level. Additionally, they are hoping that by offering auctions in a digital fashion that they will be able to offer items to a wider audience that may be incapable of traveling to a physical auction space. When Christie’s launches it’s digital auction platform they will interestingly be offering a sale of fine wines, rather than presenting a major lots selection that highlights contemporary art or fine art in general.
The Autumn will brings auction into competition with Paris. The Antique Biennial in Paris will be taking place from the beginning of September through the first week of October. Christie’s will not be left out of this excitement and will be hosting their own exhibition from 11 September to 3 October of Hubert de Givenchy’s collection. Givenchy is best known for establishing the fashion house Givenchy, in 1952. He designed a large portion of Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobe and and selections of Jacqueline Kennedy’s as well. Christie’s has made it clear that the auctions will not be made available for sale but will be available through the owner directly. During the same time Hélène Rochas’ collection will be on offer, and will be available at an auction held on 27 September.
While the weather in Britain has been grey and rainy through much of the summer, Christie’s has been seeing nothing but sunshine throughout these last months. Unaffected by the financial crisis that has crippled global markets, the sale of contemporary and fine arts has been growing positively. Christie’s looks to share in the Olympic spirit with their “London Sale” offering and will be providing an eventful Autumn program.
Words by: Portia Pettersen Copyright Artlyst 2012