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Auction houses postpone sales for Asia Week New York due to coronavirus crisis


Agence France-Presse

 /  Mon, February 17, 2020  /  04:08 pm
Auction houses postpone sales for Asia Week New York due to coronavirus crisis

People pass by a Sotheby's auction house logo in the Russian History Museum in Moscow, 23 May 2007. (AFP/Maxim Marmur)

Sotheby's has announced that it will reschedule its Asia Week sales for the week of June 22.

The auction house confirmed that the "Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art" auction will remain as scheduled on March 16, while its Hong Kong spring sales will still be held from April 3 to 8.

Christie's, Bonhams, Doyle, Heritage and iGavel are also postponing their related sales in response to the spread of the coronavirus, although Christie's announced that its "South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art" sale will take place as planned on March 18 in New York.

"We believe these are the right decisions to take now to ensure the best sale environment on behalf of our consignors and our clients," a spokesperson for Christie's said in a statement.

However, the six auction-house partners will still present the highlights of their Asia Week auctions as scheduled from March 12 to 19 in their New York salerooms.

"Due to the tragic coronavirus outbreak and the effect it's had on so many people, we understand the difficult decision that the auction houses had to make to respectfully accommodate their buyers," Katherine Martin, chairwoman of the trade membership organization Asia Week New York, said in a statement.

Read also: Art Basel cancels Hong Kong fair over virus outbreak

Last year, the 10th anniversary edition of Asia Week New York grossed a total of over $150 million across all combined sales.

Although significant changes have been made in the organization of the annual weeklong Asian art fair, exhibitions and discussions hosted by participating galleries will move forward as originally planned.

Among them is the solo-artist exhibition "Blue Night, Red Earth: The Work of Nguyen Cam," which will be on view at Rosenberg & Co. in the Upper East Side.

This show is solely dedicated to the Vietnamese contemporary visual artist, who includes materials like used rice sacks, corrugated cardboard, and gingko leaves in his practice.

Also on view during this year's Asia Week New York will be the first US retrospective dedicated to Japanese bamboo artist Abe Motoshi, whose work will be shown in conjunction with other historic pieces at TAI Modern's New York gallery.

The announcement of Asia Week New York's new schedule arrived on the heels of the cancellation of the 2020 edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, which was to run March 17 through March 21.

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