Gallery  April 30, 2020  Chandra Noyes

Sotheby’s Partners with Galleries for New Online Platform

Photo by Christian Fregnan on Unsplash

In a move to adapt to the changing art market, auction powerhouse Sotheby’s has announced a new platform for online art sales. A partnership with major galleries, the new digital marketplace allows for the immediate purchase of artworks, rather than waiting for group sales at auction.

Sotheby’s Gallery Network, which launched this week, includes Gavin Brown’s enterprise, Lehmann Maupin, Jack Shainman Gallery, Luhring Augustine, Kasmin Gallery, Petzel Gallery, Sperone Westwater, and Van Doren Waxter.

While many galleries have already moved to online exhibitions and sales, this new platform helps them to reach a wider audience and offers an easy online purchasing process for sales up to $150,000.

website screenshot

A look at the newly revealed Sotheby's Gallery Network

"The digital world is so important these days,” said Lehmann Maupin Gallery co-founder Rachel Lehmann in a statement. “This was true long before COVID-19 but is ever more apparent to us now. When we team up with partners and collaborate, our world becomes bigger. In this new initiative, we see an opportunity to expand our reach and promote our artists and their work to an international audience. One of Sotheby’s strengths is its commitment to curatorial integrity, even when dealing with the marketplace. We trust they will provide rich curatorial context for our artists when showcasing artworks online. This context is extremely important to us, as is the ability for collectors to have a seamless experience online, including the ability for direct purchase."

Each gallery will have a digital viewing room of works that are being offered exclusively through the platform, creating what Sotheby’s calls a “bespoke online presence.” Unlike in traditional galleries and auctions, set prices will be publicly-listed. Galleries will have access to Sotheby’s many resources: art expertise, technological capabilities, financial services, and a captive audience of collectors.

courtesy sotheby's

George Condo, Antipodal Reunion, 2005.

Sotheby’s continues to offer online auctions while in-person events are on hold. Their recent Contemporary Curated auction set a record for the highest price ever paid for an artwork online with the sale of George Condo’s 2005 Antipodal Reunion, which sold for $1,299,753. Sotheby’s also offers an online consignment tool, for those looking to have the works in their collections appraised by experts.

About the Author

Chandra Noyes

Chandra Noyes is Managing Editor for Art & Object.

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