Christie’s newly appointed chief executive Guillaume Cerutti has announced that the auction house will open a 4,500 sq. ft flagship space in Beverly Hills, California, in April. The two-story space, which has been designed by the Los Angeles- and New York-based firm wHY, will host private selling exhibitions, public exhibitions of touring auction highlights, live-streams of auctions from Christie’s 12 salesrooms worldwide, social events and educational programmes. The flagship does not plan to host auctions, and Christie’s Rockefeller Centre location in New York will continue to operate as the auction salesroom for the Americas.
The launch of the Los Angeles space follows Christie’s recent expansion in Beijing last year. According to a spokeswoman for Christie’s, mainland China and the West Coast accounted for the largest concentration of new buyers last year, with clients in the Americas claiming 37% of the value of property that was globally sold while Asia claimed 31%, which was the highest percentage for that region in the company’s 250-year history.
“Our strategy is to be where our clients are, in both geographic and digital contexts, and the West Coast region is a very dynamic one for Christie’s in terms of client engagement and consignments”, Cerutti told The Art Newspaper. Before the launch of the flagship space, Christie’s LA will host a pop-up exhibition of property from the collection of Earl and Camilla McGrath at De Re Gallery on Melrose Avenue, and plans to announce the rest of its programming schedule sometime next month.