Art market information for Australian and New Zealand: forthcoming auctions, past auction results from 1969 to the present, market statistics, news and opinion. Search for an artist.

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News and Opinion

The kangaroo is a pest no more or not at least as far as the saleroom and art circuit are concerned. At sales or viewings in as oddly diverse locations such as Sydney (an auction house); Hong Kong (an art fair) and Surrey (a golf club) fine and decorative art featuring kangaroos has enjoyed keen responses – two silver examples leading the fray writes, Terry Ingram
Olsens cite catalogue of injuries as Sotheby’s looks to sell

Sotheby’s Australia has ignited an almighty row with one of the ­nation’s leading art dealers by ­including two paintings by his ­father, John Olsen, in its upcoming auction catalogues. One of the works is a jewel in the collection of late Macquarie Bank co-founder David Clarke. The big, greenish board Captain Dobbin is expected to fetch upwards of $300,000. The other painting, The Mother, was the subject of a bitter legal dispute ­between Sotheby’s and the Olsen family settled by the Supreme Court in December, broadly in the auction house’s favour, writes Michaela Boland in The Australian.

Good intentions fail to translate to sales at Webb’s Important and Contemporary Art auction
By Briar Williams on 10-Apr-2015 (Exclusive to the AASD)

The Webb’s that we’ve known over the past 40 years has changed significantly and the latest reincarnation in the last 6 months could be its most dramatic. Now owned entirely by Mowbray Collectables, the last remaining link to the founder, Peter Webb, was severed when Sophie Coupland (the long standing Head of Art) left toward the end 2014.

A new management team, stunning new premises in Parnell, new corporate sponsorship relationships and new sale categories all signalled a move toward a New Zealand auction house based on an international model.

Another Melba farewell - choice objects move in towards the city
By Terry Ingram on 02-Apr-2015 (Exclusive to the AASD)

Against frenetic bidding at a Sotheby's Australia auction in Melbourne's Grand Hyatt Hotel on March 31, Museum Victoria outbid private buyers to secure choice lots from a selection of objects that had been collected by the opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, which given the strength of the local and global bidding in the room could have gone to overseas buyers.

With the help of the Australian Government Cultural Heritage Account the museum purchased seven lots.

Michael Parekowhai a bright spot in a tough sale at Art + Object in Auckland
By Briar Williams on 02-Apr-2015 (Exclusive to the AASD)

The first sale of the year at Art + Object was billed in the presale literature as ‘tightly focused’ and either by necessity or choice, the sale was diminutive in the number of lots, just 63 in total.   

The room was quiet with many seats still available when the sale started, and was in sharp contrast to the highly successful Ron Sang auction just a few weeks ago where it was standing room only.  The auction ticked along pretty slowly at the beginning with lots of phone and absentee bidding to make up for the lack of room attendees.