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Art Dealing & Collecting in Post-COVID-19 Time | 后新冠时代的艺术经纪与收藏


By Xiaoying Juliette Yuan

作者:袁晓萦



On June 6th, Art Basel made the official announcement of the cancellation of its 2020 September show. 282 of the world’s leading galleries will showcase over 4,000 “exceptional artworks” in the fair’s Online Viewing Rooms from June 19 to June 26 (Preview Days June 17-19).


6月6日,巴塞尔艺术博览会正式取消了其原订于9月举办的2020年展览。6月19日至6月26日,全球282家领先画廊将通过博览会的在线展厅,欣赏4000部“独特的艺术精品。”


Screen shot, Art Basel cancels 2020 September show announcement. Art Basel official website | 巴塞尔艺术博览会关于取消2020展览的通告截屏画面(巴塞尔博览会官网)



On June 10th, Trusts & Estates Journal delivered an online webinar hosted by the magazine’s editor in chief, Susan Lipp. (Huge THANKS here for friends who recommended it to me!) The one-hour panel on “Planning strategies for fine art and collectibles” gathered three experts from art advisory, art law, and art auction, covered diverse topics from the future of the online art sales, dealing and collecting in post-COVID-19 time, to the precautionary measures that collectors need to consider to protect their property and assessment.


6月10日,“信托与房地产杂志”举办了一期由杂志主编Susan Lipp主持的在线网络研讨会。(在此特别感谢向我推荐了这期研讨会的朋友们!)为时一小时的有关“艺术与藏品规划策略“的研讨聚集了来自艺术咨询,法律和拍卖领域的三位专家,讨论议题涵盖了从有关后新冠时期在线艺术销售,经纪和收藏的未来,到藏家针对其财产与评估需要重视和采取的预防措施。


Screen shot from the online webinar, Planning Strategies for Fine Art and Collectibles, organized by Trusts & Estates, June 10th, 2020 | “艺术与藏品规划策略”线上研讨会,由信托与房地产杂志举办,2020年6月10日


The observations and analysis of Bonnie Brennan (Deputy Chairman and Head of Trusts, Estates and Wealth Management Christie’s Americas, New York, USA) and Ray Waterhouse (Chairman of Fine Art Brokers, London, UK) on the online art sales in the past few months are worth to consider by the visitors of the upcoming virtual Art Basel 2020.



Bonnie Brennan(美国纽约佳士得信托基金副总裁兼信托,财产和财富管理负责人)和 Ray Waterhouse(英国伦敦艺术经纪人机构主席)对过去几个月中艺术在线销售的观察与分析值得本届虚拟巴塞尔博览会的藏家们关注。


While talking about the impact of the virus on the auction houses' private sales and their engagement of the clients during the stay-at-home order, Brennan seemed to be quite satisfied with the outcome of Christie’s online sales. "Transactions were happening at every level from $5,000 to over $40 million, with particular growth in the $5M+ segment. Christie’s made four times more sales than last year in the $5M." Brennan made a special remark about the boundaries change of Christie's clients. "Before (the pandemic) they felt that they needed to see the artwork in person to process the purchase. The art industry has headed to move quickly, be responsive to the changing landscape. The digital viewing rooms and the very rich content shown online educate well the collectors and clients, and engage them with the house’s specialists to allow them to move forward." As a conclusion, she emphasized: “Quality is the key for whether private sales or online sales, particularly under this uncertain time.”



在谈论病毒对拍卖行私洽和在居家禁令期间与客户如何互动时,Brennan似乎对佳士得的在线销售结果感到非常满意。“从5000美金到4千万美金各个级别都有销售产生,其中5百万美金以上这个区域的增长尤为明显。佳士得在5百万美金的销售额达到了去年的四倍。” Brennan对佳士得客户交易标准的变化做了特别的评论。“在(流行病爆发)之前,他们需要在交易前亲眼看到艺术品。艺术品行业发展得非常迅速,并且对不断变化的环境及时回应。在线展厅和及其丰富的内容对藏家和客户群体都起到了良好的教育效果,并且引导他们与专家合作达成交易。”最后,她强调道:“无论是私洽还是在线销售,质量是关键,尤其是现在这个动荡的时期。"

Christie’s seems to be well prepared for the rest of the year moving a lot of major auctions online. “We have seen registers and activities from over 79 countries, and we had over 1600 buyers – not bidders but actual buyers - with 3% of them that are new to Christie’s.” To better satisfy their growing online buyers' community, the house is in preparation for a global sale of 20th-century art at four different locations (Hong Kong, Paris, London, and New York) in the relay for July 10th opening.


佳士得似乎已经为今年下半年时间做好了充分的准备,许多大型拍卖都移至线上进行。“我们已经看到了来自超过79个国家的注册者和线上活动,和超多1600位买家 - 不是竞拍者而是实际的买家 - 其中3%是佳士得的新客户。” 为了更好地满足不断增长的线上买家群体的需求,拍卖行正在积极筹备将于7月10日开幕的于全球四个城市(香港,巴黎,伦敦和纽约)举办的接力式20世纪艺术拍卖。


Screen shot from the online webinar, Planning Strategies for Fine Art and Collectibles, organized by Trusts & Estates, June 10th, 2020 | “艺术与藏品规划策略”线上研讨会,由信托与房地产杂志举办,2020年6月10日



Ray Waterhouse (Chairman of Fine Art Brokers) from the UK, an art advisor with more than 25-year experience in global art consultancy business however seems to be much less optimistic but way more rational and conservative with selling and exhibiting art online in the future.



而来自英国的Ray Waterhouse(艺术经纪人机构主席),一位从事了25年以上全球艺术咨询业务的资深艺术顾问,对艺术品线上交易和展示的未来却显得不那么乐观,而持以更多理性和保守的态度。


“Yes, for 2020, most of the businesses WILL be online. There will be tones of demands and people will have to find a way to transact. Many clients are getting more comfortable dealing online, and for a few, even at high values. But we still have a way to go, because, in 2019, the online sale is counted for less than 10% percent of the 60 billion dollars of the global art market. So for most clients, it plays apart. For about 40 years, the work of art needs to be seen in person."


“的确,对于2020年来说,更多的交易是要在线上发生。需求将会不断涌现,人们也需要找到一个途径来交易。许多客人也的确更习惯线上交易了,甚至有些交易是高价值艺术品。但是我们仍然还有很长一段路要走,因为,在2019年,在线拍卖还只占了全球艺术品市场600亿美元的不到10%的一小块。因此,对于大部分客人来说,它还很边缘。而在大约40年的时间里,艺术品都是需要亲眼观看的。”


“For this year, let’s take the examples of the prints and works on paper. Auction houses and dealers will surely find special and safe arrangements for the clients to see them in person, but for the majority, the online viewing is the only way for the most of this year. Coincidentally, a British author published an analysis on New York Times yesterday (June 9th) and noted the strong age divides regarding the online sales: 29% of collectors under 35 years old actually prefer the online experience, compared to only 10% of those over 60 years old. The fairs that took place between March and June in 2019, other than the first two – the Armory Show in New York, and TEFAF in Maastricht – all the rest were canceled. Most of the collectors will be hesitant to travel to art fairs where there seems to be a crowd. And what's supposed to be going to Art Basel if you can’t network, you can’t talk to dealers or other collectors, and can’t party? This is going to be a huge hit for the whole art market.”



“今年的情况我们可以以版印和纸本作品为例。拍卖行和经纪人当然会找到特别和安全的渠道让他们的客户们亲眼看到作品,但对于大多数人来说,线上观看仍然是今年唯一的途径。巧合的是,一位英国作家昨天(6月9日)刚刚在纽约时报上发表了一篇分析文章,其中指出在线交易群体的年龄差异很大:占29%的35岁以下的藏家实际上更喜欢在线体验,相比之下,只有10%以上的藏家在60岁以上。原订在2019年3月到6月要举行的博览会里,除了前两个博览会(纽约军械库和马斯特里赫特的TEFAF),其它的都被取消了。大多数藏家都避免去人山人海的艺术博览会。再说了,你要是根本就没有办法社交,和经纪人或其它藏家交流,也无法聚会,那去巴塞尔博览会还有什么意义呢?对于整个艺术品市场来说,这都将是一个巨大的打击。”


Screen shot from the online webinar, Planning Strategies for Fine Art and Collectibles, organized by Trusts & Estates, June 10th, 2020 | “艺术与藏品规划策略”线上研讨会,由信托与房地产杂志举办,2020年6月10日



“A UBS survey estimated that collectors with at least 1 million dollars in equity assets last year attended on average 7 art fairs, and about the same number of dealers’ exhibitions. Most of us at least would agree that there is an enormous difference between viewing online and viewing art in person when you can connect with the art, perhaps taking the art off the wall, examining the back, and talking to the dealers, advisors, or auction house experts.”



“瑞银(UBS)的一项调查中预估,去年,拥有至少100万美金股权资产的藏家平均参加了7场艺术博览会和出席了大致相同数量的画廊展览。我们大多数人至少会认同,当你可以直接接触艺术品时,在线观看和自身与艺术互动之间 - 把艺术品从墙上取下来,检查背后的情况,和经纪人,顾问,或者拍卖专家交谈 - 存在着巨大的差异。”


"Sotheby’s and Christie’s online sales HAVE increased, but the average revenue is a fraction of last year. For example, the aggregate revenue of 44 million from Christie’s and Sotheby’s and Phillips’ online sales of April this year (2020) was 92% down on the live revenue from the same auction houses of last year. Christie’s contemporary art sales in May 2019 in New York alone totaled 630 million. For galleries, my guess unfortunately is up to 20% will close their retail spaces and deal privately and therefore online mainly. And perhaps 30% will close altogether."


“苏富比和佳士得的在线销售额是都有所增长,但他们的平均收入仅仅是去年的一小部分。比如,今年(2020年)4月佳士得,苏富比和菲利普斯的在线销售总收入为4400万美金,比他们去年同期举办的现场收入下降了92%。佳士得在2019年5月仅纽约的当代艺术现场拍卖销售额就达到了6.3亿美金。对于画廊来说,我的猜测是恐怕有多达20%的画廊都将不幸关闭其销售空间并进行私下交易,因此也会以线上交易为主。很可能很快有30%的画廊都会线上线下一起关门。”


"As online buying increases, I think that certain issues will become more and more discussed. However, I’d like to point out that the images, the only thing you can see online are usually not very accurate. One can’t oneself examin in the condition and sending funds to something valuable but you haven’t seen and to someone you haven’t met is another big issue. So I think our shippers will do a lot of increased businesses in sending works on approval and then perhaps handing the return for quite a percentage. Lastly, for the seller, there is also the question of exclusivity and privacy in things being online. So to conclude, a few types of works will sell online, but at the fraction of the usual numbers, the middle market is going to suffer hugely. And however inventive we all are with technology, nothing replaces the experience of viewing art in person.”



“随着在线购买的增长,我认为有些问题将尤其会越来越被大家谈论。我特别想指出的是,你目前只能在线上看到的图像通常还都不精准。一个人在和画廊经营者素未谋面,也没亲眼看到过价格不菲的艺术品,并无法检验其状态的情况下就打款过去,这是另一个大问题。因此,我认为我们的运输公司们倒会在获准发送艺术品以后再将其返还这个过程中做不少生意,挣不少回扣。最后,对于卖方来说,线上交易还存在着艺术品独家权益和隐私性的问题。综上所述,有限的几种艺术品将有可能线上销售,但只是达成正常情况下平均销售额的一小部分,夹在中间的一层市场将遭受巨大的损失。而且,无论我们对于技术多么具有创造力,也无法取代亲身观赏艺术的体验。”


Screen shot from the online webinar, Planning Strategies for Fine Art and Collectibles, organized by Trusts & Estates, June 10th, 2020 | “艺术与藏品规划策略”线上研讨会,由信托与房地产杂志举办,2020年6月10日



Although online viewing and purchase still seem to be the only way for the global collectors to enjoy the Art Basel 2020, for those who are attempted by the idea of buying their favorite works - hoping at a significantly lower price - under the unique financial circumstances created by COVID-19, the New York-based art lawyer Judd B. Grossman’s advice deserves your attention:



尽管在线观看和购买似乎仍然是全球藏家欣赏2020年巴塞尔艺术博览会的唯一途径,但针对那些在目前因新冠疫情所至的特殊经纪环境下,试图以最优惠价格买下自己心仪的艺术品的藏家们,纽约艺术法律师 Judd B. Grossman的建议值得你的关注:


“The only thing that is certain right now is that the future is uncertain. Galleries are closed temporarily, some even permanently. Many of them are facing periodically some financing hardships, whether purchasing or consigning a work of art. The first important thing that a collector wants to keep in mind is a timetable specified in a governing agreement to avoid the potential legal headaches. It helps the collector to avoid entangling accidentally into the financial hardship of a gallery’s bankruptcy filing process. If you are purchasing a work of art, you may want to give yourself the flexibility of a longer payment schedule so you can pay for a longer period or to secure additional financing. Unfortunately, in reality, as many galleries are filing the bankruptcy, keeping the payment schedule short may decrease the risks that the deal would be disrupted.”



“目前唯一可以确定的是未来是动荡不安的。画廊暂时关闭,有些甚至是永久性关闭。无论是艺术品交易还是寄售,他们中的许多人都面临着巨大的资金困难。藏家首先需要牢记的是签署具有严格时间把控的协议,以避免被卷入潜在的法律纠纷。它(协议)可以帮助藏家们避免在无意中陷入画廊申请破产的财务困境。你在购买艺术品时会希望给自己协议更长更灵活的付款时间表,或争取到更长的时间来寻找额外的融资。但我在此必须要提醒你的是,今天的现实情况中,由于越来越多的画廊会申请破产,缩短你的付款时间相反会降低你的交易会中断的危险。”


Grossman advises collectors to react before their galleries file bankruptcy to avoid the unexpected risks and financial difficulties. He also strongly suggests them to find out if their galleries apply the UCC code as a policy to protect their clients from potential risks and loss.



Grossman建议藏家们要在他们合作的画廊提出破产申请之前行动,以避免经历意外的风险和财务困难。他还强烈建议他们设法弄清合作的画廊们是否已启用UCC法令来保护其客户免受潜在的风险。





J. Yuan & Associates New York provides consulting services to art collectors and enthusiasts and helps them to own the art that aligns with their identity, values, and goals. Our services include Provenance Research, Collection Management, Acquisition | Sale, Exhibition Planning | Organization, Art Commission, Architecture & Interior Design Projects. Detailed information to check: https://www.jyuanassociates.com


J. Yuan纽约联合艺术顾问机构为艺术藏家提供专业咨询服务,协助他们拥有与自己的身份,价值观与生活目标一致的艺术藏品。我们可以在以下领域提供服务:艺术品来源调查与研究,藏品系统管理,艺术品购买与出售,藏品展览规划与执行,艺术品征订,和建筑与室内设计合作计划。详情请查询我们的官网 https://www.jyuanassociates.com

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