“If we needed the proof of the strengths of the art market, we have it,” said Christie's new CEO Guillaume Cerutti at a press conference after the sale. “If we needed the proof of the strength of Christie’s, we have it. If needed the proof of the strength of our teams we have it.”The last time Christie's put its foot on the accelerator like this, it ended with the CEOs of both Sotheby's and Christie's sitting on the sidelines. At Christie's, it also resulted in the departure of the firm's long-serving head of Contemporary art. The young team who inherited the department seemed to be signaling in the press conference that they stacked the sale as proof of their business-getting prowess. Nate Freeman captured this in ArtNews:
“I had a lot of people saying to us, ‘Are you going to make it without Brett?’ ” said Loic Gouzer, who last month was named Post-War and Contemporary chairman, sharing that title with Alex Rotter, a rainmaker who Christie’s poached from Sotheby’s last year. “We miss him a lot, but we’re also very happy that we can do it by ourselves.”
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