Chinese contemporary art, impressionist and modern art, watches, and jewels will all be featured at Christie’s first ever mainland auction, which will be held in Shanghai on September 26 at the Jing An Shangri-La hotel.
Both Asian and Western art are expected to draw a rapidly growing contingent of enthusiastic Chinese collectors. In a press release sent today, the international auction house provided an overview of the highlights of the upcoming auction, which include Zeng Fanzhi’s Bicycle and Sui Jianguo’s series of sculptures Clothes Veins Studies, as well as works by Liu Ye, Zhan Wang, and Luo Zhongli. Western works by Giorgio Morandi and Pablo Picasso will be auctioned as well.
In addition to the the September 26 event, Christie’s is offering several private and online sales. Its China-only online Andy Warhol sale is expected to be especially popular with Chinese collectors.
According to Christie’s CEO Steven Murphy, the online auctions and Shanghai event are intended to draw global participation:
“In addition to offering the gala auction, we are hoping to convene anyone who wishes to engage in the wider world of art and culture. And while the events and activity is focused in Shanghai and China, we invite the global art community to join us both in person and virtually via Christies.com as many of the events will be broadcast live from Shanghai. In short, this is Shanghai Christie’s invitation to our world.”
As the first auction held on the mainland by an independent company free of a joint venture, the September 26 auction will prove to be a landmark event. Just prior to Christie’s announcement that the auction was being planned, the Pinault family donated to China two bronze zodiac heads originally looted by British troops during the Qing dynasty that had created a major controversy when they were auctioned in 2009.
The event’s opening ceremony will take place on September 24, and works will be on exhibition from then until the day of the sale as part of a “three-day cultural gala” to mark the auction’s historic nature. In addition, Christie’s education program and private sales will also be held from September 24 to 26.