My reflections on art, collectors, marchers and contemporary art auctions
Curator Legacy Russell is to head up the nonprofit The Kitchen, in Chelsea, New York. Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza collector Contemporary art
The number of German buyers has tripled
Starting this summer, Sotheby's is holding auctions in Cologne – an appreciation of the German art market and a reaction to Brexit. We spoke to Franka Haiderer, the auction house's new head of Germany
In fact, it was a process. The idea of doing sales in Germany had been discussed for a while. Now, in the age of digitization, any change is accelerated. With the introduction of online auctions on the German market and the establishment of Cologne as Sotheby's sixth sales center in Europe, we are of course also building on the incredible success of the past year: With 409 online auctions, Sotheby's achieved revenues of over 585 million US dollars and ultimately achieved a consolidated turnover of 5.2 billion US dollars in all sales formats in 2020. In addition, with the launch of the online auctions, we are of course also taking into account the dynamics of the German market. The implementation of the new online platform enables access to a far more comprehensive market potential - an experience that we were already able to make last year: The number of German buyers in Sotheby's online sales has tripled. From this experience we want to offer our customers, established and new, an optimized and personalized service on site, which leads to flexible possibilities in sales and purchase. The German market is an exciting, lively market and offers great chances and opportunities, and we are very pleased to be the first international auction house, the first mover, to establish these sales in Germany, in Cologne.
Germany has always been an important sourcing center for Sotheby's global auctions. And now is the time, if you like, the momentum to further develop the country into a distribution center. This requires a vision, which we are now implementing in Cologne, one of the important centers of the art world. In a city and a region with a high density of collectors and many institutions for contemporary and modern art. We hope that Cologne will become a focal point for collectors from Germany and neighboring countries, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria.
We will strengthen ourselves on the market side with additional resources. We are already in an excellent position with Eva Donnerhack, Director, specialist in Impressionist & Modern Art, who will be responsible for the auctions as Head of Sales Germany. She is supported by Bastienne Leuthe, Senior Director, specialist in contemporary art, who heads this area in Germany, as well as Joelle Romba, director of the Berlin office and specialist in contemporary art, who is co-head of the NOW auction, and Herbert van Mierlo , Senior Director, Specialist in Fine & Decorative Arts. And from July 5th, Barbara Guarnieri will strengthen our team as head of our Cologne office and specialist in contemporary art. More to come.... In addition, the support of the entire German team at the locations in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Frankfurt/Main as well as the European countries is certain.
First of all, Cologne has a vibrant art scene. The city's museums, numerous galleries and the exhibition spaces run by artists offer a diverse range of activities throughout the year and are a magnet for art enthusiasts and artists from all over the world. In addition, Art Cologne is home to one of the oldest art fairs in the world for classical modern, post-war art and contemporary art, which becomes an annual hotspot for the important players in the global art market - collectors, gallery owners, curators, museum directors, artists. And last but not least, Cologne, together with the Rhineland and the neighboring Benelux countries, is one of Europe's regions with the highest concentrations of industry, capital and collectors.
This year we are planning three auctions. In mid-September, the opening auction dedicated to Modern & Contemporary Art and includes works with estimates ranging from 3,000 to 300,000 euros. The curated NOW auction will then follow in November, which will include design objects, photographs and works by young, up-and-coming contemporary artists. And another autumn auction, which will present a wide selection of luxury objects. And of course I have an expectation in terms of sales and we will have to work hard for that, but more on that once we have started.
We look positively and excitedly to the future and look forward to accepting the challenges. With this we want to offer our existing customers and hopefully many new customers who prefer local access another option in Europe to deliver art and luxury objects directly on site in Cologne and also to buy them.read more about contemporary art, collectors, gallerists and marchers