Bonhams, the auction house mostly thriving on its classic car sales, doesn’t seem to have found itself a buyer so it is forging ahead with several new initiates to update its image. One is a restaurant in its London headquarters that will feature wines selected from its sales (does that mean patrons will be getting served the bought in lots?); another is a March sale held in Los Angeles.
From the sounds of the press release, Bonhams publicity department may have stolen the sommelier’s key:
Tell Me What You Want (What You Really, Really Want), a new auction taking place at Bonhams in Los Angeles on March 31, will feature work by such pioneering artists as Richard Anuszkiewicz, Mathias Goeritz, Jim Dine and Claes Oldenburg.
The auction is the latest platform for contemporary art at Bonhams. An auction first and foremost, it is also a broad celebration of contemporary art and culture. The auction room is a place where the auctioneer and the bidder come together, linked in a gestural union between the offering of an artwork and the raising of a paddle. Tell Me What You Want…, then, is not only a title, but also a self-reflexive description of what we do – and what we love to do. The auction will be a place where creative culture is exchanged, exhibited and discussed, but not without a dose of levity.
Los Angeles has always been a city which has nurtured ‘The Next’ – the desire to have the future now. It has long fostered an obsession with innovation and innovators, and Tell Me What You Want… is a response to that, offering approximately 100 works from some of the most influential artistic movements of the last few decades. The city which has emerged as a major capital for contemporary art will now play host to a premier auction, one which draws on the global reach of Bonhams to gather work from collections in New York, London, Hong Kong and beyond.
Here’s a brief explanation of the restaurant:
Mayfair auction house Bonhams is launching its first restaurant this month with Tom Kemble (Hedone in West London and Faviken in northern Sweden) as head chef whose pared back, modern European menu fusing French technique with British, Italian and Scandinavian produce, will be served alongside a wine list overseen by two Masters of Wine – a first for London. The restaurant, is split over two floors, with a wine bar on ground level, intimate dining room on the first floor and plenty of art on the walls.
Bonhams will be buying wines from sales taking place at the house with the list overseen by Master of Wine and Head of Bonhams Wine Department, Richard Harvey, and sommelier and Vintners Cup winner, Charlotte Edgecombe. Two Enomatic machines dispensing up to 16 wines by the glass will allow patrons to sample sought after wines like Domaine de la Romanée Conti Richebourg 1995, Château Cheval Blanc 1982 and Screaming Eagle 2011. There will also be regular tastings hosted by producers including Château Mouton Rothschild, Château la Conseillante and Château Pontet Canet and Kemble will create specific tasting menus to be served alongside.
Bonhams: Launches its 1st restaurant (The Handbook)