Art Market

The former Christie’s co-chairman Loïc Gouzer is launching a virtual auction platform.

Justin Kamp
Jun 22, 2020 4:43PM, via Wall Street Journal

Loïc Gouzer unveiling Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi (ca. 1500) at Christie's in 2017. Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Christie's Auction House

Loïc Gouzer, the former Christie’s co-chairman who helped organized the firm’s 2017 sale of Leonardo a Vinci’s Salvator Mundi (ca. 1500) for $450 million, is launching a new members-only virtual auction platform. Beginning June 28th, the platform, dubbed Fair Warning, will auction a single artwork per week, with the sales occurring at 5 p.m. EDT. The app’s audience will be made up of several hundred collectors and advisors that Gouzer has either personally invited or approved for application.

Gouzer told the Wall Street Journal that Fair Warning intends to be a middle ground between intimate private sales and bombastic, time-sensitive live auctions that have been replaced by online sales due to COVID-19. The available works, along with their prices, will only be revealed to members, and telephone and absentee bids will not be accepted—“you snooze, you lose,” as Gouzer told WSJ.

Fair Warning marks Gouzer’s first significant art world appearance since leaving his position at Christie’s in 2018 following a seven-year stint during which he revolutionized auction-house programming by mixing styles, eras, and artists into wide-ranging blockbuster sales. The platform marks a new way for collectors to engage with online sales, which have become the new norm in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, David Zwirner sold a Jeff Koons sculpture for $8 million through its online showroom, while last month Sotheby’s first-ever online-only day sale of contemporary art achieved $13.7 million.

Further Reading: My Advice for Collectors Navigating the Art Market amid COVID-19

Further Reading: Galleries Test Fresh New Sales Tactics to Reach Collectors Online

Justin Kamp