Where to buy art in March-April 2020: An up-to-the-minute guide

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Frieze London, 2019. Courtesy of Yuvan Kumar.

In the past few weeks, art sales from big auction houses such as Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips, as well as art fairs the scale of Art Basel Hong Kong have either been cancelled or postponed.

The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF), held every year for collectors of Old Master and Modern works, in Maastricht, was closed four days ahead of schedule due to an Italian exhibitor at the fair testing positive for coronavirus.

Last weekend, Christie’s and Phillips announced the postponement of their worldwide auctions until May and mid-May respectively. Sotheby’s hosted a live auction in London on March 17th but has now announced sales will now be going online due to the worsening condition of the Covid-19 spread.

However, the cancellation and postponement of auctions is no reason not to buy art. Many industry experts will already tell you that online and telephone bids are more popular than live ones anyway.  

So, here is a list of the top live and online auctions/fairs taking place in March and April 2020:

  1. Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms | Preview: March 18th-20th | General: March 20th-25th

Art Basel has launched Online Viewing Rooms (OVR) – a digital initiative which allows exhibitors to display works – following the cancellation of its Hong Kong edition this year. Originally displaying works at the fair, 235 galleries will offer 10 works each. It is free to access here.

Art Basel Hong Kong 2019. Courtesy of Art Basel.

2. Sotheby’s Spring sales | Online only

Most recently, on March 17th, Sotheby’s live auction at its New York saleroom for Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art fetched $4.8m, 69% higher than March last year. While the Made in Britain sale, in London, on the same day exceeded its estimate to total £2.1m.

Upcoming sales include:

Grape Packer by Irma Stern (1959) will be offered in the Modern and Contemporary African Art sale at Sotheby’s . Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

3. Bonhams Spring sales | Online only

Ka’abah by Affandi (1983) to be sold in the Fine Southeast Asian Arts through Bonhams. Courtesy of Bonhams.

4. Christie’s Spring sales | Online only

5. In-house online viewing rooms through galleries

Large galleries, such as Pace, David Zwirner and Gagosian, already have their own in-house viewing online viewing rooms. Susanne Vielmetter, the Los Angeles dealer and New York’s Di Donna Galleries also announced their debut in-house online viewing rooms ahead of Art Basel’s OVR, according to Artnet.  

If there are any others you would like to bring to our notice, please email Yuvan Kumar.