LONDON.- Sothebys announced that in February 2008, it will be holding its flagship Contemporary Art auctions during a stand-alone week of Contemporary Art events for the first time, including an extended public exhibition devoted solely to the best international Post-War and Contemporary Art. An Evening Sale of around 70 lots will be held on Wednesday, February 27th, and will be followed by Morning and Afternoon sessions of classic and cutting-edge Contemporary Art on Thursday, February 28th.
Cheyenne Westphal, Chairman of Contemporary Art, Sothebys Europe, said: With the strengthening of the market, a strong new collecting base which is predominantly focused on Post-War and Contemporary Art and the fantastically high quality of many of the works we are proud to be offering in February, we felt that the time has come to establish a stand-alone Contemporary week in London, not only in order to be able to create extraordinary exhibitions in our world class galleries , but also to better serve our clients.
Sothebys decision to separate its traditional February week of sales and to establish a stand-alone week of Contemporary Art auctions comes after years of spectacular growth seen in the Contemporary market, with a growth of 348% in the value of London sales between 2001 and 2006. Between 2002 and 2007, the number of lots sold annually in London has doubled. Being one the largest and most impressive commercial venues to display art in London, it is now time for Sothebys to devote its entire premises to one of the flagship events in the Contemporary Art calendar.
One of the highlights of the February Evening auction will be Francis Bacons outstanding painting Study of a Nude with Figure in a Mirror. One of only a handful of full-length female nude portraits in the artists entire oeuvre, this work sets up an intriguing narrative involving his close friend Henrietta Moraes and a mysterious male figure in the mirror. Executed in 1969 at the height of his career, it has been included in all of the artists major retrospective exhibitions to date and comes from an important private collection. The work is estimated at £18-25 million.
Sothebys February 2008 schedule of London sales:
Tuesday, February 5th Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale (including German & Austrian and Surrealist Art)
Wednesday, February 6th Impressionist & Modern Art Works on Paper Sale
Wednesday, February 6th Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale
Wednesday, February 27th Contemporary Art Evening Sale
Thursday, February 28th Contemporary Art Day Sale (Morning and Afternoon sessions) - Highlights from the Evening Sale of Contemporary Art will be on view alongside the pre-sale exhibitions of Impressionist & Modern Art from January 29th.
In addition, on Thursday, February 14th, Sothebys New York will host The (RED) Auction. Bono and Damien Hirst have joined forces with Sothebys and Gagosian Gallery to organise the most significant charity auction of Contemporary Art to date. The sales proceeds are to go the United Nations Foundation to support HIV/AIDS relief programs in Africa conducted by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The sale at Sothebys (1334 York Avenue) will be preceded by a preview exhibition of the works at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea (522 W. 21st Street) from February 4th to 13th, 2008. The estimate for the auction is expected to be in excess of $40 million.