Under Alex Rotter, Christie's PWC Evening sale has a very strong night; If KAWS gets your goat, wait until you see the $5.4m Frank Frazetta painting.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.) In the gloaming of Wednesday afternoon, a luxury sedan pulled up in front of Christie’s. The driver was a tall man in dark blue pants and a dark vest over a white shirt. He leapt out of the driver’s seat still wearing a wide-brimmed hat reminiscent of the swashbuckling character Zorro but without the mask or cape. In one fluid motion, he opened the door for his passenger to emerge onto the sidewalk of Rockefeller Center. From the other side of the car, private dealer Philippe Ségalot emerged and rounded the sedan’s taillights to join up again with his client, François Pinault. Ségalot took a seat in Christie’s sale room not far from Brett Gorvy and Dominique Lévy, the private dealers who worked closely with M. Pinault while Christie’s employees and with whom many speculate close ties have been re-established. After the sale, Loic Gouzer slipped down the stairs from Christie’s private boxes briefly excusing himself by claiming he just ducked in to use the men’s room. Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti reminded journalists in his remarks opening the post-sale press conference that “you remember a few months ago, the team has changed a little bit.” He was referring to the departures of François Outred in London and Gouzer in New York from the Contemporary art team. “Some people left,” Cerutti deadpanned before praising the leadership of Alex Rotter who inherited the sole mantle of the Contemporary art department. At François Pinault’s Christie’s the past of the Contemporary art department is always still present in some way or another.
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