Sotheby's to Launch On-Chain Generative Art Program Powered by Art Blocks Engine

The first sale on July 26 will honor generative art pioneer Vera Molnar, who is considered to be the first female digital artist.

AccessTimeIconJun 28, 2023 at 4:02 p.m. UTC

Art auction house Sotheby's is launching a generative art program this summer, highlighting artists in the digital art field through fully on-chain sales.

The Gen Art Program at Sotheby's will launch on July 26 and will highlight two to three generative artists per year. The first sale will honor generative art pioneer Vera Molnar, who is considered by many scholars to be the first female digital artist. Beginning her career in the mid-1940s, Molnar began creating computer art in the 1960s, building out an impressive portfolio that is regularly cited as an influence for modern generative artists such as Dmitri Cherniak and Tyler Hobbs.

The program is powered by the Art Blocks Engine, a white-label generative minting infrastructure solution created by the popular generative art platform. Sales through the Gen Art Program will be fully on-chain and will be sold via a Dutch auction format for the first time in the art auction house's 300-year history. Bids will begin at 20 ETH and will be incrementally reduced until the item is bought with one bid.

All pricing will be in ETH, which Sotheby's calls a nod to its "crypto-native collectors."

Sotheby's has continued to embed itself into the digital art community, recently hosting a series of successful non-fungible token (NFT) sales from its GRAILS collection, made up of rare artworks seized from bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC). In June, it sold a number of NFT artworks, including Dimitri Cherniak's "The Goose," which sold for an eye-popping $6.2 million. In total, the auction house has brought in about $11 million from sales of GRAILS NFTs.


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Rosie Perper

Rosie Perper was the Deputy Managing Editor for Web3 and Learn, focusing on the metaverse, NFTs, DAOs and emerging technology like VR/AR. She has previously worked across breaking news, global finance, tech, culture and business. She holds a small amount of BTC and ETH and several NFTs. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter, The Airdrop.

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