Francis Outred is leaving Christie’s after nine years as head of Contemporary art in Europe, the Middle East, Russia and India. Outred was responsible for the epoch-making consignment of Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud which made $142.4 million at Christie’s New York in November 2013 and sparked a new era of mega sales. Here’s Christie’s release:
After nearly twenty years in the auction world and a decade with Christie’s, Francis Outred, Chairman, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, EMERI, has decided to leave the company.
“It has been an incredible journey and I am proud of all that the teams have achieved over the last decade. We have built a strong, sustainable and profitable business, leading the market with an innovative vision and five of the six highest grossing auctions ever to take place in our field,” said Francis Outred, “but with the team having achieved three of these in the past thirteen months including the record auction in March this year, the time is right for a pause, a refresh and a new beginning. I want to take a break with my family and I am excited to start a new chapter in my career.”
“On behalf of everyone at Christie’s, I would like to thank Francis for his outstanding commitment and contribution. His work has been characterised by creativity, relevance and audacity,” said Guillaume Cerutti, Chief Executive Officer, Christie’s. “He leaves Christie’s as leaders in the post war and contemporary field in Europe with a strong and diverse group in place to continue to serve clients building on recent success and innovations.”
Francis joined Christie’s in January 2009 to oversee the management, strategy and vision of the Post-War and Contemporary Art team in Europe. In July 2014, he was promoted to Chairman and Head of the department in EMERI, following a period of unprecedented development, growth and success. During his career, Francis has overseen five of the six highest grossing auctions ever to take place in his field in Europe.
Known for his innovative approach to catalogues and exhibitions, under his guidance the team have significantly expanded the remit of the department, extending their activities in private sales, digital engagement and other innovative projects. These have included special one-off exhibitions such as House of Cards at Waddesdon Manor and the first exhibition of Peter Doig in China, at Faurschou Foundation, Beijing alongside the launch of the gallery, Christies Mayfair, and landmark cross category exhibitions there such as Reflections on the Self and About the Line.
Francis was also responsible for the consignment of the most expensive work of art ever sold in his field, Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud which achieved $142.4 million at Christie’s New York in November 2013. He has also twice been instrumental in achieving the record for any photographic work of art at auction, both times by Andreas Gursky as well as other records for contemporary artists including Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein and Peter Doig.