Cultured Celebrations The Now Auction with Sotheby’s
There are very few occasions where you can sip cocktails in a gallery housing works of art worth more than $10 million. One of those parties happened last night, when Cultivated brought together an array of guests including artists, fashion designers, cultural leaders and friends of the magazine to toast Sotheby’s The Now Evening auction. “It was a fantastic opportunity to partner with Sotheby’s to celebrate November’s offering for The Now Auction, which features works by some of the most important contemporary artists, many of whom, including Christina Quarles and Lucy Bull, have been in the pages of Cultivated in recent years,” says of culture Editor Joshua Glass.
An impressive array of acclaimed and emerging artists, the sale was curated by Now Evening Auction Manager Lucius Elliott. “When people look back at these sales 15, 20 years from now, I want them to say, ‘I can’t believe you acquired these works back then, some of the most avant-garde on the market, by well-established societies and newly canonized artists.’ What is important to me is that what we bring to the market by these artists represents the best of their art,” he explains.
One of the stars of the collection is that of Yoshitomo Nara Light Haze Days / Study. The coin is a portrait of Nara’s iconic doe-eyed girl, bathed in flecked golden light. According to Sotheby’s, the painting is one of the painter’s most important to be auctioned and is expected to sell for more than $9 million. Joining Nara in the lineup is Thomas Schütte with Grosser Geist No. 6. The sculpture of a man rising to the sky is an earlier version of the artist’s work. Geister series. Works by up-and-coming artists like Anna Weyant, Salman Toor and Louis Fratino stand alongside it.
“With The Now sale, I’m trying to put together a capsule of what constitutes the best of what’s being done right now,” says Elliott. “It’s a century in which we’ve seen most artists working individually rather than as part of a collective, which reflects the era as a whole. But there are trends, for example queer artists who co-opt the aesthetics of old masters, be it [Vincent] Van Gogh in the case of Louis Fratino or [Andrea] Mantegna in the case of Julien Nguyen, to present queer spaces and figures. In the other room we have works by Jacqueline Humphries and Avery Singer that use technology as a means of producing images, which I think is a really interesting avenue of research.”
At Sotheby’s, guests were free to browse the different floors of gallery space, stop in front of one of the many Warhols or take a selfie with Yayoi Kusama’s giant. Pumpkin (M) on the third floor. Amid glasses of champagne and a sea of suit jackets was Elliott, fluttering from guest to guest. “It was quite lively,” he remarks. “I had a hard time finding the people I was looking for, such was the volume of people. It’s always exciting to welcome a wave of young collectors to our galleries.
The Now Evening auction will take place online on November 16, 2022 at 6:00 PM EST.
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