Why are the artists in the Christie’s evening sales art historically important? How does one understand their cultural significance and the high prices collectors will pay for their works? Spend a day at Christie’s auction house learning about the history and context of artists and art works that sell at the top of the Contemporary and Post-war market. This full day program features a lecture on the “Value of Art” with Michael Findlay and a specialist-led tour of the top lots of Christie’s evening sales in the galleries.
Morning Lecture: The Value of Art
What is art worth? How can a work by Warhol be sold for close to $2,000,000?
In a lecture on The Value of Art – Money, Power, Beauty, internationally renowned art dealer and market expert Michael Findlay offers a lively and authoritative tour of the art world informed by almost a half-century in the business and a passion for great art.
Findlay will discuss how art acquires value—both commercial and social—and how these values circulate among the artists, dealers, and collectors that comprise today’s complex and constantly evolving art world. In the process he demystifies how art is bought and sold while also constantly looking beyond sales figures to emphasize the primacy of art’s essential, noncommercial worth.
Afternoon: Private Tour of the 20/21 Evening Sale
Meet the lecturers:
| Michael Findlay is a Director of Acquavella Galleries, which specializes in Impressionist and Modern European works of art and post-war American painting and sculpture and represents contemporary artists Miquel Barceló, Jacob El-Hanani and Damian Loeb. Acquavella presents major loan exhibitions of works from museums and private collections such as “Picasso’s Marie-Thérèse”(2008), “Portrait of a Collection: Robert and Ethel Scull” (2010), “Georges Braque—Pioneer of Modernism” (2011), “Jean Dubuffet: Anticultural Positions” (2016), Joan Miró “Constellations” (2017), and in 2018 “The Worlds of Joaquin Torres-Garcia”, “James Rosenquist-His American Life”, “Lucian Freud: Monumental” in 2019 and “Pablo Picasso—Seven Decades of Drawing” in 2021. In February, 2023 Findlay curated “less: minimalism in the 1960’s”.
Born in Scotland in 1945, from 1968 to 1970 Mr. Findlay directed one of the first galleries in the SoHo district of New York City and established his own gallery there from 1971–1977. He was the first dealer in the United States to show the work of Joseph Beuys, Sean Scully and other European artists and gave American artists such as John Baldessari, Hannah Wilke, Stephen Mueller and Billy Sullivan their first solo exhibitions as well as representing veteran Abstract Expressionist Ray Parker.
In 1984 he joined Christie’s auction house and was head of the Impressionist and Modern paintings department until 1992 when he became International Director of Fine Arts and a member of Christie’s Board of Directors. He supervised the sale of many important collections: Mr. and Mrs Paul Mellon, Hal B. Wallis, Victor and Sally Ganz as well as the historic sale of “Dr. Gachet” by Vincent van Gogh in 1990. Findlay opened Christie’s first office in China 1994 and in 1995 was part of an advisory team assisting the creation of a Western art program at the Shanghai Museum. In 1998 GE Capital Corp. acquired Japan’s fifth largest consumer finance company and appointed Findlay to direct the sale of its $200 million art holdings which he accomplished over two years of both private sales and sales at auction. Findlay retired from Christie’s in 2000.
He is a contributing author of The Expert versus The Object: Judging Fakes and False Attributions in the Visual Arts published by Oxford University Press in 2004. His first book The Value of Art has been translated into German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin and a new revised tenth anniversary edition has just been published in English and German. His second book, Seeing Slowly—Looking at Modern Art was published in 2017 in English and in Mandarin in 2021. Portrait of the Art Dealer as a Young Man—New York in the Sixties will be published in 2024.
Since 2001 Mr. Findlay has served on the Art Advisory Panel for the Internal Revenue Service of the Treasury Department of the U.S. Government. He is on the Board of Directors of the New York Foundation for the Arts, The British Schools and Universities Foundation and a former President of the Art Dealers Association of America Foundation. He is on the Advisory Councils of the Max’s Kansas City Project. In 2022 Findlay was appointed by President Biden to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee at the State Department and he received the 2023 Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Appraisers Association of America.
In 2018 Findlay supervised the sale of works of art from The Estate of Jerome and Geraldine Coles for executor Alvin Schulman of Moses & Singer, New York as well as The Estate of Adele Klapper for executor Susan Bloom, Fiduciary Trust, and Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler. Findlay was appointed by the New York State Supreme Court to be the Receiver for the sale of The Macklowe Collection which in 2021 was sold at Sotheby’s and at $922,200,000 became the most expensive single collection sold at auction.