Newly-launched Greenhouse Auctions announces inaugural sale this December

Art Daily
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Shai Azoulay, Time Table, 2020. Courtesy of Shai Azoulay.
Shai Azoulay, Time Table, 2020. Courtesy of Shai Azoulay.

NEW YORK, NY.-Greenhouse Auctions, a new model for supporting and discovering artists, today announced its inaugural sale to be held this December and the launch of a new art history scholarship through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). Consigning solely from galleries and artists, Greenhouse Auctions leverages the advantages of the auction system, while prioritizing the artist-gallery-collector relationship and the role of galleries in nurturing artists’ practices and building collections. Through a wholly digital model and cross-category themed auctions, Greenhouse Auctions offers collectors a dynamic and accessible avenue for discovering works and directly supporting galleries and artists.

Showcasing works that span media and category—from paintings and works on paper to ceramics and design—each Greenhouse sale presents a selection of fine art and objects curated around a single theme, encouraging discovery for new and established collectors alike and an intersectional, open-ended approach to collecting. Titled Sourdough, the inaugural sale in December will bring together works created during the pandemic and in lockdown. Participating galleries include here (Pittsburgh), LnS Gallery (Miami), and Meislin Projects (New York), and artists featured include Israeli artist Shai Azoulay, Molly A. Greene, T. Eliott Mansa, Cuban artist William Osorio, and Venezuelan artist Tony Vazquez-Figueroa. The sale will also feature works created specifically for Greenhouse by artists including Nick Farhi, Aaron Elvis Jupin, Erin Loree, and Grear Patterson. Most works are valued at $20,000 or under, fostering this underserved area of the art market and providing an approachable entry-point for new collectors as well as artists whose markets are growing rapidly.

Central to the company’s mission-driven business model is the establishment of a new scholarship with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which benefits students studying art history across more than 40 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), with the aim of advancing greater representation and diversity in art historical scholarship and criticism and within the arts workforce. A percentage of Greenhouse commissions from each sale is donated to the fund. Greenhouse additionally supports sustainable and green business practices through its completely digital model that removes the costly and prohibitive logistics of traditional auctions, with objects transferred directly between collector and consignor and the elimination of in-person and print presentations of the works for sale.

Founded by Shlomi Rabi , former Christie’s Vice President, Head of the Photographs Department for the Americas, and a twenty-year veteran of international and regional auction houses, Greenhouse Auctions was created in response to the limitations that auctions pose to galleries and artists, who rarely benefit from collectors’ consignments and resale of their works, and for whom final auction sale results often inaccurately reflect their broader market. Greenhouse Auctions supports market transparency by requiring galleries and artists to disclose the value of the work to prospective collectors ahead of the auction, while enabling the final sale price to remain between the consignor and collector. It also generates new connections between artists, galleries, and collectors by directly connecting consignors and purchasers following the auction, cultivating and advancing the long-term relationships between artists, galleries, and collectors that are central to the vitality of the art market.

“The current global, social, and economic shifts are necessitating alternative sales models that recognize the importance of meaningful collecting and of supporting those that power and drive the arts ecosystem. As our name suggests, Greenhouse Auctions aims to cultivate community, transparency, and growth. Our business model embraces the strengths and significance of galleries and artists and provides a vital platform for them to promote their work, without the challenges often posed by the traditional frameworks and requirements of auction houses, art fairs, or physical gallery spaces. At the same time, collectors will find in our platform a dynamic and unpretentious experience that invites them to explore a variety of art and objects at an accessible price point. Prioritizing these artist-gallery-collector relationships is critical to the health of the arts ecosystem, and equally important is to advance more representation and diversity in our field. This is why it was critical to launch Greenhouse with a vision that balances profit with doing good, benefiting the art community through our artist-centric business model and our partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund,” said Rabi.

“TMCF is grateful to Greenhouse Auctions for their support of our students,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, President & CEO of TMCF. “This new partnership will enable us to support students as they progress through college.”