Last night the art market had its first major public test since the lockdown with a major ‘Evening auction’ session at Sotheby’s. This was certainly not a return to business as usual; viewing was by appointment, there were no glitzy receptions, and there was not even a saleroom filled with paddle-wielding bidders: instead, Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s European Chairman, stood on a rostrum in London for over four hours and conducted a livestream auction with staff manning phones in front of him, as well as in salerooms in New York and Hong Kong, and with clients also bidding directly online. It is often said that auctioneering is the second oldest profession; and while last night’s innovative event was a futuristic, slick-looking operation, the fundamentals were very much the same; supply, demand, a sense of occasion – and guarantees.
Spencer has over 30 years of experience in the art world and has acted as an advisor for a diverse range of international clients including both private collectors and institutions. He lifelong passion for culture was first inspired by his father who was an American artist. Having grown up surrounded by art, he went on to study Art History at the University of East Anglia before spending time as a post-graduate at an auction house and gaining valuable market experience at three established art dealerships. He first joined Gurr Johns in 1992 and spent almost a decade at the company before leaving to establish his own successful art advisory business. Spencer rejoined Gurr Johns in 2019, bringing invaluable experience and expertise to the firm having spent over three decades as a leading art advisor.