Sotheby’s to host an NFT auction for generative art this month

Art auction house Sotheby’s announced Wednesday that it plans to hold an auction for only generative non-fungible token (NFT) projects. 

Sotheby’s generative NFT art auction intends to include pieces spanning the history of generative art, beginning in the 1960s through present day, and is set to occur between April 18-24.

Vera Molnár, Chuck Csuri and Roman Verostko — three generative avant-garde artists whose work emerged in the 1960s — will have their works offered as NFTs for the first time.  Contemporary generative artists will also be featured in the auction, offering a mix of NFT and physical works.

“While NFT projects like CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club have stolen headlines around the world over the past year, few might understand how these NFTs are connected with the history of 20th century art movements — including the early generative artists who paved the way for computer art and the algorithm based art that has inspired many contemporary NFT projects,” said Sotheby’s vice president and co-head of digital art Michael Bouhanna in a statement.

This forthcoming generative auction, Bouhanna added, intends to build and expand that legacy in the 21st century. 

Generative art involves an "autonomous system," usually a computer, playing some role in the overall final art piece, such as through a program randomizing certain elements. Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is an example of a generative NFT project

Sotheby’s is no stranger to selling generative art projects. The art auction house sold both CryptoPunks and BAYC NFTs in 2021, though was “rugged” before an auction of over 100 CryptoPunks in February of this year.