Three veterans of Sotheby’s auctions are launching a new art consultancy firm that will focus on the booming market in Asia. Amy Cappellazzo and Yuki Terase join forces to launch the consulting firm. The company, Art Intelligence Global (AIG), will operate internationally between Hong Kong and New York. The two founders will advise on transactions and bring their expertise to the global art market.
Adam Chinn, former COO of Sotheby’s and co-founder of the private online sales platform Live Art, is also a partner of the firm and will oversee commercial and legal operations.
Terase, who was previously responsible for contemporary art in Asia at Sotheby’s, will run the firm’s Hong Kong headquarters, which will include exhibition space. Cappellazzo and Chinn will manage the New York space of the former Pace / MacGill gallery location in Midtown, with plans to open their US site in early 2022.
Cappellazzo told the New York Times that the company plans to exploit the growing power of the Asian art market. According to Cappellazzo, although a collector base is already well established in the United States, another powerful collection of collectors is still forming in Asia. The Hong Kong market has already overtaken Europe as the second art market after the United States and is expected to grow further in the years to come. âWhen you get a whole crop of new collectors, they’re a lot more ravenous because they’re starting to build something,â she said.
In June, Cappellazzo left her position at Sotheby’s as president. She had joined Sotheby’s after the house acquired her consulting firm, Art Agency, Partners, which she founded with Allan Schwartzman and Chinn in 2016. Prior to that, Cappellazzo was the long-time president of art according to -war and contemporary at Christie’s.
A month later, Terase left after nearly a decade at Sotheby’s. Under Terase, Sotheby’s Asia division expanded its sales offerings to include more Western art. The move paid off. Last June, its contemporary art auction in Hong Kong – with nearly half of its lots by Western artists – grossed $ 102 million, one of the highest sales totals the house has ever made. never made during an auction in the territory.
Terase distinguished herself from her peers by educating a class of up-and-coming buyers on concept works considered non-traditional offers in auction houses. But she has also shown a knack for connecting with Asia’s biggest collectors, with figures like Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and Taiwanese musician Jay Chou in her rolodex. She has also helped sell prime lots, auctioning off a Gerhard Richter painting owned by cosmetics mogul Ronald Perelman for $ 28 million last summer. This painting is today the most expensive work of a Western artist ever auctioned in Asia.
Executives at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips have closely followed Terase’s progress in Asia and have also begun to place more emphasis on the booming art market on the continent. âAsia is our fastest growing region at Sotheby’s,â Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart said in a statement last June. Last week, Sotheby’s modern and contemporary Hong Kong auction series totaled $ 185 million, resulting in a 35% increase in sales from the total of $ 600 million in 2020. And, in the Possible goal of appealing to Asian collectors, the three houses have started to make their nightly auctions in London and New York less Eurocentric and have pushed back the timing of those auctions, bringing them closer to when buyers in places like Hong Kong will be active.
Signs of growth in the Asian market were also seen last year at Phillips, which collaborated with Chinese auction house Poly Auction and took its sales of modern and contemporary art to new heights. Last spring, Phillips made $ 122 million on four consecutive sales of modern and contemporary white glove art in Hong Kong and Beijing, an increase of 121% from the previous year, marking the season total. highest ever for the home in Asia. Meanwhile, Christie’s said that in the first half of 2021, Asian buyers accounted for $ 1.04 billion of the $ 3.5 billion in sales it made.