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News and Opinion

Australians buy up big on contemporary British art

The Australian art market has been dubbed small, unique and underrated on the world stage. However, it has just emerged thata pocket of 50 or so Australian collectors last year spent more than $8 million on modern British art and are now responsible for 10 per cent of Christie's modern British art turnover in London. Christie's London-based senior director of Modern British and Irish Art, Andre Zlattinger, (formerly of Sotheby's London), is in Melbourne and Sydney this week to touch base with Australian collectors of  modern British art who buy and sell in this top-end international market. He said Australian auction houses need to "internationalise" their star performers - such as Brett Whiteley, Grace Cossington-Smith, Sidney Nolan and Arthur Boyd - and take them to London, New York, Paris and Berlin, where they could be recognised on the international stage.

Caravaggio in court: Sotheby's wins case after '£10m' painting sold for £42,000

A man who attempted to sue Sotheby’s over a painting declared a “£10million Caravaggio” after he sold it has lost his High Court battle, leaving him facing millions of pounds-worth of costs.  Lancelot William Thwaytes, a chartered surveyor, had sold the painting, entitled The Cardsharps and catalogued as by a follower of Caravaggio, for £42,000 through Sotheby’s in 2006. The following year, renowned collector Sir Denis Mahon, the new owner, publicly claimed it was a genuine work by the artist, valuing it at £10m.

Whale of a sale creates a big splash in the Australiana market.
By Terry Ingram on 24-Feb-2015 (Exclusive to the AASD)

The Caressa Crouch and Carl Gonsalves Collection of Australiana sold for $1.07 million or more than three times expectations at Mossgreen's rooms in Melbourne on February 22. The result was helped by strategically low estimates designed to sell, writes Terry Ingram.

Deep pockets for Cotes
By Terry Ingram on 22-Feb-2015 (Exclusive to the AASD)

A painting offered as from the circle of the 18th century English portrait painter Francis Cotes at a Lawson's house sale in Sydney's Vaucluse on February 15 sold for $42,500 or around three times its estimate. The hammer price was $34,000 against estimates of $10,000 to $15,000.

Peter Lik’s Recipe for Success: Sell Prints. Print Money.

Peter Lik is in awe of himself. When he describes his career as a fine-art photographer, he speaks with the satisfaction of a guy who has performed miracles, at the pace of a bystander who just caught a glimpse of Superman. The words tumble forth in self-exalting, run-on sentences, most of them laced with profanity, all of them in the sunny, chummy accent of his native Australia. “I’m the world’s most famous photographer, most sought-after photographer, most awarded photographer,” he said one recent afternoon, sipping a can of Red Bull in a conference room at Peter Lik USA, a 100,000-square-foot headquarters in Las Vegas devoted solely to the production and sale of Peter Lik photography. “So I said” — and what Mr. Lik said next is an unprintable version of “the heck with it,” and then — “I want to make something special, special, special, special.”