The back-to-back sales of Impressionist & Modern Art and Contemporary art are being subtly rebranded as ‘Modern’ and ‘Contemporary’ auctions.
The Modern auctions will feature what the auction house describes as “trailblazers of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century” while the Contemporary sales will focus on works from the latter half of the 20th century. An additional evening sale will also be launched titled ‘The Now’ auction focusing on works from the last 20 years.
In a statement Sotheby’s said: “In practice, these auctions will be curated on stylistic grounds rather than strictly by date – giving flexibility for artworks to go in either sale depending on what feels like the best fit, whether this is aesthetically, by mood or by historical context.”
It added: “Together, this trio brings the sales into lockstep with a changing art world and the increasingly fluid approach to collecting, as well as allowing us to emphasise the synergies between artworks and artists that may otherwise not be apparent and can now spark interesting art historical conversations.”
The upcoming ‘Modern’ evening auction in New York takes place on November 16 and among the star lots is Frida Kahlo’s Diego y yo (Diego and I) from 1949, the artist’s last fully-realised bust-length self-portrait, which is estimated in excess of $30m.
The ‘Contemporary’ evening sale will take place two days later on November 18 with the inaugural ‘Now’ sale taking place on the same day.
Among the works already announced for the latter event are an early and large-scale Yoshitomo Nara painting from 1996 titled Nice to See You Again (estimated at $8m-12m), and Mark Bradford’s Method Man from 2004, a work billed as “a standout example of the artist’s acclaimed abstract practice”.