JANUARY 2018 NEWSLETTER
Domestic Auction Market – The Figures
2017 will be recorded as a year of new highs. Our much loved and acclaimed Australian artist Russell Drysdale, gained a new auction record with an iconic work titled ‘Grandma’s Sunday Walk’ (pictured below). The piece, painted in 1972, just before the artist lost his eyesight, was the most expensive painting sold at auction last year. It reached nearly $3 million at a Mossgreen Auctions in Adelaide cementing this artist as one of Australia’s greatest.
Sidney Nolan also achieved his 2nd highest auction result for ‘Ned Kelly – Outlaw’, 1955, selling for $2.56M and Eugene Von Guerard’s ‘Mr John King’s Station’, 1861, a classical masterpiece, sold for nearly double its estimates at $1.95M at Sotheby’s in August.
More records tumbled when Charles Blackman reaffirmed his ‘most valuable living Australian artist’ status, when ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ 1956, (pictured left), sold for $1.8m at Sotheby’s in November.
Also worth a mention is one of Australia’s current most highly regarded abstract artists Dale Frank, who continues his consistent rise with another new auction record, this time coming from over the pond in New Zealand. The work (pictured below) sold for AUD $86,639.
Our 2016 Prediction
The Global Art Market
Globally, the international Fine Art market of 2017 was nothing short of spectacular!
Hot on the heels of Jean-Michel Basquiats’ work ‘Untitled’ 1982, of which Sotheby’s achieved $US 110.5 million (a record high for an American Artist), followed the staggering record sale of Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’. The work, with a pre-sale estimate of $US100 million and selling through Christies New York, defied all expectations, eventually selling for a breathtaking $US 450 million (AU$572M) and in doing so changing, as some suggest, the art landscape irreversibly.
‘Artprice’ has predicted that we are now entering a new and profound period, whereby the market itself will definitively change its price scale, thus stimulating the appetites and interest of dealers and collectors alike.
It suggests that it’s also a testament to the pulling power of Art that more institutional galleries and art museums opened between January 2000 and December 2014 globally, than did so throughout the entirety of the 19th and 20th centuries combined. It revealed that roughly 700 new art museums are being built every year on 5 continents, each with at least 4,500 artworks. Artprice predict this massive expansion of the global museum industry coupled with more private investors entering the market will inevitably lead towards spectacular new auction results and increasing values.
Numerous sales are expected to generate auction results in excess of $US 1 billion, most notably the forthcoming sale of David and Peggy Rockefeller’s quite outstanding collection this May in New York. It is worth noting that as we watch the Art market become more efficient, more mature and more liquid, we may also witness unheralded, exciting, and hopefully lucrative times ahead.
The Aboriginal Art Market
It was another strong and steady year for Aboriginal art. Based on the average price of paintings sold at auction it recorded its best year since 2013. However there were some notable highlights which confirmed the continual re-surging support of this market when top quality works appear for sale.
An extraordinary painting by the late Aboriginal artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye sold for $2.1 million (pictured below), smashing the record for the highest price achieved at auction for an Australian female artist. This also equals the highest price ever paid for an Aboriginal artwork (without buyers premium) and it’s also the third most valuable artwork sold at auction in 2017.
At Deutscher and Hackett’s final sale for the year in Melbourne, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa almost doubled his auction record with ‘Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay)’, 1993 (pictured below), selling for $154,000. The estimate for this work was $40,000 – $60,000.
Major Domestic Awards
Figurative painter and cartoonist Mitch Cairns won the 2017 Archibald Prize for his portrait of his partner and fellow artist Agatha Gothe-Snape (pictured below).
Once again, the Archibald sparked controversy with veteran artist John Olsen not pulling any punches, calling this year’s winner, “just so bad”. The 89-year-old former winner and three-time judge of the country’s best-known portrait prize commented “I think it’s the worst decision I’ve ever seen” prompting many on the sideline to ask the age old question, what is the Archibald without controversy.
Wynne Prize 2017 Winner: Betty Kuntiwa Pumani
Sir John Sulman Prize 2017 Winner: Joan Ross
Doug Moran Prize 2017 Winner: Tim Storrier
Tommy Watson (Aboriginal Artist)
Ray Hughes (Legendary Art Dealer)
Alun Leach-Jones (Painter, Printmaker)
Sydney Ball (Abstract Painter)
Corporate Art Rental News
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