With the international art market on lockdown, online sales look to be a vital lifeline for auction houses moving forward. Contemporary Curated, originally scheduled as a live auction, was converted to an online sale, making it the 18th online auction at Sotheby’s since March 20th. The house’s auctions over the past month have realized roughly $37 million in total sales, which is nearly half of the annual total of $80 million for dedicated online sales handled by Sotheby’s in 2019.
The firm has a total of 43 sales scheduled for April and May (three of which close today), including two newly-scheduled online versions of its contemporary art and Impressionist and modern art day sales, which are scheduled to open on May 4th. Competitors Christie’s and Phillips are also currently conducting online-only sales of contemporary art.