The launch of the gallery on Camden Drive comes as L.A.’s art scene grapples with increasing popularity among institutions and skepticism from some residents.
It is Beverly Hills’ existential question of the week: Can a storied auction house exist if there are no gavels and ticking clocks to finalize a sale?
The answer came this week with the launch of Christie’s flagship Los Angeles gallery on Camden Drive in downtown Beverly Hills. No auctions will take place in the 5,400-square-foot building, which is being billed as more of an event space and traditional gallery to help service Christie’s local clients.
“It is a real departure for the company,” Christie’s managing director, western region Sonya Roth tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Roth is a former California deputy attorney general whose husband, Joshua Roth, heads up United Talent Agency’s fine art division. She was speaking in her office as construction workers, cleaners and caterers buzzed around the two-story Kulapat Yantrasast-designed space, preparing for the gallery’s kickoff dinner, which was held on Tuesday.
Attendees at that event included philanthropist Eli Broad, LACMA’s Michael Govan, talent manager Bob Gersh and choreographer Benjamin Millepied among others. It was a mad dash to get everything in order. Mere hours earlier Roth’s team had finished setting up the first curated collection that now hangs in the first floor gallery, which includes several works from Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The total estimated worth of the first collection is $450 million.