Christie’s quietly changes the schedule for its buyer’s premium; World Art Lounge launches gallery pop-up concept; London Contemporary sales down over last 2 years; Christie’s catches a fraud.
This commentary by Marion Maneker is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.)
Christie’s Has a New Schedule for Buyer’s Premium Fees
- Following an internal business review, Christie’s International announces an updated Buyer’s Premium schedule that will result in a modest increase in the fee paid by the successful buyer of an item at auction. Christie’s last updated its Buyer’s Premium fees in September 2017.
Off the Wal—Another Pop-Up Gallery Concept
A press release came out today announcing the launch of a gallery platform with the awkward name of World Art Lounge or WAL. The launch release makes a lot of the founders’ backgrounds: Jean-Daniel Compain from Reed Exhibitions; Jean-Christophe Harel who led Paris Photo’s attempt to expand in LA and marketed Contemporary art at Christie’s; and Cyrille Troubetzkoy, an art advisor. And the founders have announced their “first collaborative exhibition opportunity will take place from June 5 to 9 in Paris at Galerie des Gobelins in partnership with Mobilier National, offering for the first time a contemporary art show in one of the most prominent French public institutions. Boasting unparalleled architecture and interior design, Mobilier National will provide 10,000 square feet of exceptional exhibition spaces to up to 15 member galleries.”
The firm claims participating galleries will have to qualify for participation but the fee structure doesn’t suggest much in the way of exclusivity:
- accepted galleries will pay a one-time initiation fee of €1,200 ($1,400), in addition to a yearly membership fee of €900 ($1,000) or a monthly membership fee of €75 ($85) to gain full access to The WAL’s global program and service.
London Sales Down from Previous Years
Colin Gleadell did a little math on the Contemporary sales in London next month. He finds they’re down from the previous two year by nearly a quarter.
- “Estimates of between £208 million and £305 million for London’s major contemporary art sales next month are 23.4 per cent down on comparable figures in 2018 and 25 per cent down on 2017.”
Gleadell also singles out a massive Jenny Saville painting guaranteed for £5m at Sotheby’s and bought a decade before for £434k. Instagram hounds will know the private dealer who recently posted a picture of the work boxed up and ready to ship.
Christie’s Helps Catch a Money Launderer
According to the Singapore Straits Times, Christie’s earned an anti-money laundering notch on Monday when Kazeem Akinwale was found guilty of fraud in the UK:
- “In March 2016, the authorities received a tip from Christie’s that hackers had tried to imitate an employee’s e-mail address to divert a customer’s payment. The account was traced to Akinwale’s east London home a month later, where he was arrested.”