Artists, Collectors and Creatives Reflect on Their Time in Quarantine

By Sotheby's

F or months now, many of the world's museums, galleries and art spaces – once so full of people – remain closed. Some face the daunting prospect of ever reopening, or reopening in a drastically changed world. Art fairs have gone online, exhibitions put on hold, residencies postponed. But the art world has not gone idle, and perhaps more importantly, its voices have not gone silent. Since beginning isolation, Sotheby’s Chairman Amy Cappellazzo has called up her circle of friends to contemplate the issues before us. As The New Yorker wrote, “There are few things as nourishing as the human voice, especially during a quarantine.” What else is nourishing the artists, writers, curators, collectors and gallerists on her creative phone tree? What new space will art occupy in a world robbed of its human closeness? Join us in our new series, Phoning It In, as Amy and leading voices in our industry discuss what they’ve been up to at home, and how the art world will emerge from the challenge before it.

“I'm not worried about creative output, or the world self-regenerating, because I believe so seriously in humans and the creative impulse and the artistic impulse.”
—Amy Cappellazzo, Chairman of Sotheby's Fine Art Division

Ep.1: Why Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn Believes in the Resiliency of Galleries

J eanne Greenberg Rohatyn, owner and founder of Salon 94, currently spends her days perfecting Challah and dreaming of sushi, but before the shutdown she was in the midst of a major renovation at her new gallery space on 89th street. At Salon 94, she is known for championing the work of women and represents esteemed artists including Marilyn Minter, Huma Bhabha and Judy Chicago. In this episode of Phoning It In, Jeanne chats with Amy Cappellazzo about her emphasis on underrepresented art and why she believes galleries may prove to be surprisingly resilient in the coming months.

Images from left to right: Joanne Rosen, Amy Cappellazzo and Jeanne Greenberg; RohatynFrancesca Dimattio, Chandelabra II, 2015, Salon 94, 3 East 89th Street.

Ep.2: Laurie Simmons on How Artists are Dealing with Quarantine

L aurie Simmons misses New York. She misses the grilled cheese at her local diner and watching people go about their daily lives. She misses having her family under the same roof. Like many of us, Simmons and her husband, Carroll Dunham, find themselves disconnected and looking for a sense of normalcy. But unlike many of us, Simmons and her husband are leading Contemporary artists who are grappling with how to process the world around them in relation to their work. In this episode of Phoning It In, Laurie Simmons takes Amy through her time in isolation, reflecting on the role that art continues to play – both as a source of tension and as a familiar comfort.

Images from left to right: Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons, Photo by Todd Eberle. Dolls Simmons' has photographed recently.

Ep.3: Sarah Thornton Discusses the Future of the Art World

S arah Thornton tries to find joy in the little things: recognizing someone through their mask at the farmer's market or the ever-enticing 6PM glass of red wine. But even as an introvert by nature, she now longs for a time when she can attend a museum opening, gallery dinner or art fair again. In this episode of Phoning It In, Amy Cappellazzo and art journalist Sarah Thornton discuss what lies in store for our “art ecosystem.” As the chief art market correspondent for The Economist and author of acclaimed books including Seven Days in the Art World (Norton), Thornton is a prescient seer of the art market. Despite the quarantine, Thornton believes that collectors will keep collecting, and also considers the enduring power of art – including Francis Bacon’s Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus, to be offered in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction.

Images from left to right: Sarah Thornton and Amy; Sarah Thornton at home.

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