On Wednesday, two of the three major auction houses announced changes to the makeup of their leadership teams.
Phillips announced that Stephen Brooks Will become As the company’s next chief executive, its former leader Edward Dolman transitioned to a new role as executive chairman. Separately, Sotheby’s stated that the head of its fine arts division, Amy Capelazzo, would leave the company after more than five years after guiding it toward billionaire customers and major sales; When she exits the auction house this summer her duties will be divided into three different employees.
Natasha Dagen, chair of art market studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, said changes in the upper echelons of the auction world show how companies are trying to transform themselves for growth during the epidemic.
“This is a moment when the business has clearly seen a decline in sales,” said Dagen, referencing 26 percent drop In global auction sales last year. “Therefore auction houses quickly gathered online. He has taken a genuine interest in new categories such as NXT, Sneakers and Street Wear. There are also more collaborations between auction houses and luxury brands. “
Earlier this week, Phillips revealed a New Advisory Services To help its customers find works of art in the primary market, including galleries and artists’ studios. The initiative demonstrated how auction houses have taken years to diversify their ascensions, which are infiltrating commercial areas once firmly controlled by art galleries.
“Our ambition is considerable,” said Brooks, who regards advisory service as part of a larger plan to accelerate development at the auction house. Brooks, a key member of 56-year-old Christie’s board and its executive management team, also plans to expand Philips’ footprint in Asia and the 20th-century art market. He said he would like the company to double its overall business size over the next five years.
At Sotheby’s, the change involves a triumph of new positions. Brooke Limpey will oversee the auction and private sale for categories including Older masters and contemporary art; Mari-Claudia Jimenez will lead the company’s global business development activities; And Gregoire Billault is being promoted to president of contemporary art.
“We are trying to position ourselves for the future,” said Sotheby’s chief executive Charles F. Stewart, acknowledging the role of Cappellazzo in driving sales. “We are in a period of adjustment, adaptation and change.”
Cappelazzo first became famous in Miami during the 1990s as the director of the Rubel Collection. He later helped establish Art Basel Miami Beach. He started working for Christie’s in 2001, until he started his own consulting company, Art agency, partner, in 2014. Two years later, Sotheby’s acquired the company for $ 85 million and signed a five-year contract, which expired in January.
His stint at Sotheby’s helped solidify his reputation as an industry rainmaker. In 2016, she held an auction for the composer Statue of david bowie And a year later Oversaw Sales of $ 110.5 million Of a base painting. Earlier this year, he also helped secure $ 150 million collection Philanthropist Anne marion, Which will be auctioned at Sotheby’s this spring.
“You want to know when it’s the right time to leave,” Cappelazzo said in an interview, leaving to discuss his next venture, saying it would not be in direct competition with Sotheby’s. “The real story is what I’m doing next, but first I want this chapter to end.”