Christies's

Christie’s One Auction will feature $30M work by Barnett Newman – Crain’s New York Business

Christie’s auction house is rolling out the masterpieces it kept on hold during the coronavirus lockdown.

A Barnett Newman piece Onement V, worth at least $30 million, will lead the Christie’s contemporary art sale July 10.

“It is such an honor to have the opportunity to represent this extraordinary work by Barnett Newman, who was one of the most revolutionary artists of the 20th century, said Ana Maria Cells, head of the sale. Part of a series of six paintings, the work is one of two that are privately held. The others are on display in the Museum of Modern Art and other museums.


The sale marks Christie’s return to selling ultra-valuable works, something the seller has not been doing all spring. During the Covid-19 lockdown, the auction house has been selling less expensive works via online auctions and brokering private sales, which transpire between the house and collector directly.

In a number of ways, the auction is still a product of the pandemic. The fact that the art powerhouse is holding its biggest yearly sale in the summer is a departure from traditional practice. Summer usually is a quiet period for the art world. And the event’s format, too, is unconventional. Instead of holding sales separately across geographies, Christie’s plans to hold the auction in a relay style, passing off between auctioneers from Hong Kong to Paris to London to New York. The auction will operate live
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