Prior Year News Archives:
Specialists at Deutscher and Hackett are expecting a new auction record for Lin Onus when a monumental work by the artist comes up for sale in Sydney on 10 May. 'Riddle of the Koi', 1994 was released from the artist's estate in 2016 for a touring exhibition when it was bought by a private collector in Sydney. Its return to the market also marks its auction debut.
By John Furphy on 27-Apr-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Lin Onus work likely to a new auction record for the artist

Specialists at Deutscher and Hackett are expecting a new auction record for Lin Onus when a monumental work by the artist comes up for sale in Sydney on 10 May.

Riddle of the Koi, 1994 (lot 10) was released from the artist's estate in 2016 for a touring exhibition when it was bought by a private collector in Sydney. Its return to the market also marks its auction debut.

The painting is one of Onus' celebrated and highly-prized 'watery landscapes', though one of the few that seem so obviously inspired by his residency in Yokohama in 1989 - with the inclusion of the wonderfully decorative 'Koi' fish so prevalent in Japanese garden ponds.

At 2 x 4 metres the diptych is a major work, rich in detail and immensely appealing. With an estimate of $450,000-650,000 the work will likely sell for more than the artist's current auction record as recorded by the Australian Art Sales Digest, set in 2015 by Frogs on Waterlilies (which is one quarter the size of the current work) from the David Clarke Collection at Sotheby's Australia for $512,400 IBP.

With the recent theft of two paintings by Gottfried Lindauer fresh in the minds of those in the art world, Mossgreen-Webb's had two fine paintings by Charles F. Goldie on offer in their sale of Important Paintings and Contemporary Art in Auckland on 11 April. As expected they were the highlight of the show, selling to the same buyer for just under $1.2 million (hammer) with Ka Pai Te Kai Paipa, Portrait of Te Hei, A Maori Chieftainess (above) achieving $740,000 hammer against estimates of $500K to $700K.
By John Perry in Auckland on 12-Apr-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Good old Goldie does it again and steals the show at Mossgreen-Webb's.

With the recent theft of two paintings by Gottfried Lindauer fresh in the minds of those in the art world, Mossgreen-Webb's had two fine paintings by Charles F. Goldie on offer in their sale of Important Paintings and Contemporary Art in Auckland on 11 April, and without a shadow of doubt they certainly stole the show attracting serious bidding from all quarters. Mossgreen-Webb's had compiled an extensive catalogue of 102 works including the sell down of yet another art buying collective, this one the Art Capers Collection.

10-Apr-2017

Gottfried Lindauer painting sets record at art auction in Wellington

An unrecorded painting by famous New Zealand artist Gottfried Lindauer has sold at a record price in an auction on Wednesday. The portrait of Chief Renata Kawepo sold for $227,000 on Wednesday night at Dunbar Sloane. The previous highest price a Lindauer portrait sold for was $198,000 in 2000.  Dunbar Sloane director of fine and applied art Helena Walker said the painting was bought by a direct descendant of the sitter. "It couldn't be going to a better home," she said. The painting was sold with the original purchase receipt signed by Lindauer.

09-Apr-2017

Radical religious messages left on website of art auction house Dunbar Sloane

Dunbar Sloane, New Zealand's prestigious art auction house, got a raw deal when its homepage, was hacked on Saturday. Messages "to the sons of monkeys and pigs" were left on the homepages at dunbarsloane.co.nz and dunbarsloane.com. The auction house uses both domain names in its promotions. "This hacked [sic] is dedicated to the Palestinian People," the site read at 5pm. "Your security is very low," the message said. It appeared alongside the tagline "hacked by #ShysterAngel. "Israhell does not have a presence we will continue to hacked your site because you are our enemies," it said. Several images of Middle Eastern conflict anchor the hacked page, sitting under rows of Arabic text.

09-Apr-2017

Mystery bid to take Goldie masterpiece out of New Zealand

The New Zealand Government is considering a bid by a mystery buyer to take one of the country's most celebrated historical artist's paintings offshore.The Ministry of Culture and Heritage confirmed it received an application to take a Charles F Goldie painting out of the country. It is considering whether the work should be protected by  laws allowing authorities to block culturally significant artefacts from being taken overseas. However, the identity of the painting and which country its owner hopes to take it to remains a mystery.

The Art + Object Auckland sale of 120 lots on 6 April got off to a flying start with the first 39 lots, a  consignment representing a decade of art buying by The Paint + Paper Collective, a modernist group of women collectors. Amongst the remaining 81 mixed vendor lots, the cover lot by Bill Hammond (above) failed to find a buyer, as did two works by Gottfried Lindauer, but overall the team at A + O would be pleased with the results, with on-the-night sales coming in at just shy of $1.5 million.
By John Perry in Auckland on 07-Apr-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Art + Object's sale of Important Paintings and Contemporary Art produces mixed results.

The Art + Object Auckland sale of 120 lots on 6 April got off to a flying start with a 39 lot consignment representing the decade of art buying by The Paint + Paper Collective. This hardcore modernist group of women collectors dominated the buying of the first 39 lots of the auction purchasing many of the works from the collective for their own collections.

Having purchased an absolute miscellany of ''fresh art by emerging and mid-career artists from the major dealer galleries in Auckland", one of the groups stated aims was ''no nanna art'' and to this end there was very little ''safe'' or ''conservative'' art that made its way into the collection.

Clearing a very comfortable 93% by volume and a happy 123% by value, Deutscher and Hackett’s sale of The Laverty Collection Part III: Contemporary Australian Art closed the books on the third and final deaccession from the collection, amassing a total of $2,614,582 (including BP).The most expensive work (and the sale’s top lot) was Rover Thomas’ Djugamerri and Bolgumerri, 1991 (Lot 10), which reached $240,000 in the room before selling to a phone bidder for the mid-estimate price of $260,000.
By Jane Raffan on 06-Apr-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Beyond Sacred, but not Beyond Reach: The Laverty Collection Part III

Clearing a very comfortable 93% by volume and a happy 123% by value, Deutscher and Hackett’s sale of The Laverty Collection Part III: Contemporary Australian Art closed the books on the third and final deaccession from the collection with a solid, if not exciting performance: some strong result for artists, although no new major records, and a few collectors running off with bargains to boot.

With many works featuring in the Laverty’s lavish and highly regarded publications (two editions) on their collection: Beyond Sacred – it was reported that Elizabeth Laverty found it hard to let certain works go: “That sort of history makes a work terribly hard to sell.”[i] Let go they were, and sell they did, amassing a total of $2,614,582 (including BP).

 

Top price in the 'Bowerbank Ninow Auction No. 5' of 19th, 20th and 21st century photography went to a large format portrait by Peter Peryer of his then wife. Titled 'Erika' the lot sold for $10,250. This full frontal grainy 'in your face' study in close up featured on the back cover of the catalogue, and had been widely exhibited in a focused exhibition entitled Erika - A Study In Portraiture that had been curated by Justin Paton and toured extensively throughout New Zealand in 2001.
By John Perry in Auckland on 06-Apr-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Expanding collector base for New Zealand photography brings some pleasing results.

Fledgling Auckland auction house and gallery Bowerbank Ninow would have to be very happy with the results from their Auction No 5, their 5th catalogue sale in their short history.

Held in Auckland appropriately on 5th April, the carefully curated auction of historical and contemporary New Zealand photography produced some pleasing results with the 133 lots offering of a broad range of 19th, 20th and 21st century photography.

A pall was cast over the first of the major New Zealand art sales this year on 4 April, with the theft of the two cornerstone works prior to the auction. In a 'ram raid' early in the morning of 1 April, a pair of paintings by Gottfried Lindauer featuring the Chief of the Ngai Te Rangi tribe of the Bay of Plenty area (above) and his wife Ngatai Raureon were stolen from the International Art Centre in Auckland. The two works made up just under 40% of the total of the pre-sale estimates.
By John Perry in Auckland on 05-Apr-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

A brace of portraits stolen on 1st April was no April fool's day joke

Two early and rare Maori portraits stolen in a daring 'ram raid' early on Saturday morning on April 1st. was no April Fool's Day prank in the main street of the Auckland suburb of Parnell, casting a rather unfortunate shadow over the first of a series of auctions to be held in New Zealand over the next couple of weeks.

The International Art Centre's 107 lot Important and Rare sale on 4 April was reduced to 105 lots after the large pair of Maori portraits by Gottfried Lindauer from 1884 were stolen from the front window of their new premises..

The husband and wife pair of paintings feature the Chief of the Ngai Te Rangi tribe of the Bay of Plenty area and his wife Ngatai Raure.

02-Apr-2017

Two valuable Gottfried Lindauer paintings stolen in Auckland ram raid burglary video

There was "no evidence of political motivation" in the theft of two valuable Gottfried Lindauer paintings from an Auckland auction house, police say. Thieves smashed into the International Art Centre in Parnell and took the paintings about 4am on Saturday. The two portraits, Chieftainess Ngatai – Raure and Chief Ngatai-Raure, date from 1884. International Art Centre spokesman Ian Stuart said the paintings, which were due to be auctioned on April 4, were worth between $350,000 and $450,000 each.

William Robinson's whimsical 'Birkdale Farm Construction with Willy Wagtail', estimated at $250,000 - 350,000 leads the third sale of the Laverty Collection, to be sold by Deutscher and Hackett in Sydney on 5 April, 2017.
By John Furphy on 28-Mar-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

For the third and final time… last stand alone sale of Laverty Collection

The auction of the third tranche of the Laverty Collection will be conducted by Deutscher and Hackett in Sydney on Wednesday 5 April.  Comprising works by some of the finest indigenous and non-indigenous Australian artists on the market, the final sale follows two successful auctions that have come before it.

By Terry Ingram on 17-Mar-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Fortunate US purchase boosts total from Rob Gould Collection

Deutscher and Hackett’s sale of the collection of Melbourne based Rob Gould for $7.76 million in Sydney on March 15 was comfortably in excess of estimates largely due to a contribution of $2.1 million ($2.56 million with premium) from Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly – Outlaw 1955 (lot 9).

The $7.67 million was achieved with 70 per cent of the 74 lots finding buyers, many of them in the room. Helped greatly by the Nolan, the clearance by value was 106.9 per cent.

The London sale on March 22 of Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art, Maritime Art, Sporting & Wildlife Art at Christie’s South Kensington is almost certainly the last that will have an Australian lot illustrated on the catalogue cover, and probably the last lot of any special Australian interest to be offered in its rooms.
By Terry Ingram on 10-Mar-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Little Digger’s daughter's portrait presages sad end to long Aussie innings in UK saleroom

The London sale on March 22 of Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art, Maritime Art, Sporting & Wildlife Art at Christie’s South Kensington is almost certainly the last that will have an Australian lot illustrated on the catalogue cover, and probably the last lot of any special Australian interest to be offered in its rooms.

The lot is also the last that offers the opportunity for Australian institutions to compete for, in a saleroom that has produced many Australian institutional buys as well as private and trade purchases. The saleroom on Old Brompton Road which was established in 1975 as Christie's secondary London premises alongside its flagship King Street rooms is being closed down.

The Australian War Memorial has announced the acquisition of 'Ruby Plains Massacre 1', 1985 by Rover Thomas which the AWM said was acquired from 'an auction' but declined to give any more information on the grounds of 'commercial-in-confidence.' However, at Deutscher and Hackett’s sale of Aboriginal Art from the Luczo Family Collection of the USA, in Melbourne last August a work of this title, and of the same size, made $365,000 IBP.
By Terry Ingram on 10-Mar-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Institutional collectors pluck trophy paintings from a market overshadowed by wealthy private collectors

The Australian art market has lost two exemplary works, presumably for good, to the public sector following perceptive intervention in the secondary market by museum collections.

This is never welcome news to dealers as they are unlikely ever to secure a second bite at them. But if private collectors zero in on trophy works, deft funding utilisation is called for if public collections are to grow.

The works are Meditating on Good Friday 1961 a triptych, oil on board by Stanislaus Rapotec, 183 x 412 cm and Ruby Plains Massacre 1, 1985, natural earth pigments and bush gum on canvas, 90 x 180 cm by Rover Thomas.

On a quiet night for Mossgreen's much-anticipated Lowenstein sale in Melbourne, a shimmering Lin Onus painting Frog, c1995 with all the wistful pull of captured moonlight proved that a canny secondary market audience is after fresh high calibre works that are modestly estimated. This painting, built on the concept of reflected light realised $60,000 (IBP), just above its upper estimate.
By Peter James Smith on 09-Mar-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

A mercurial Lin Onus steals the limelight at Mossgreen’s Lowenstein sale.

Mossgreen are specialists in single-owner sales. On a quiet night for their much-anticipated Lowenstein sale, a shimmering Lin Onus painting Frog, c1995 (lot 76) with all the wistful pull of captured moonlight proved that a canny secondary market audience is after fresh high calibre works that are modestly estimated. This painting is built on the concept of reflected light, glowing like a glass-half-full bridge between aboriginal culture and western pictorial construction. True to form, the painted frog almost vanishes in the textured painted layers.  What a gem. It realised $60,000, just above its upper estimate.  (All realised prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.)  Compared to previous Lin Onus auction records, this was a modest sale. However for Onus, the records are held by works of larger scale and incisive aboriginal character.

Veteran Melbourne art dealer, Rob Gould is selling part of his private collection and gallery stock through Deutscher & Hackett in Sydney on 15 March, 2015. Gould plans to open a new space in Collingwood representing Contemporary artists.  Sidney Nolan is well-represented as the creator of 16 of the 74 works in the sale, including the work with the highest expectations, Ned Kelly – Outlaw 1955 from the second Kelly Series with the potential to set a record as the second highest price for a work by Nolan.
By John Furphy on 07-Mar-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Going for Gould: Art dealer trades up with a Kelly of high calibre

Veteran Melbourne art dealer, Rob Gould is selling part of his private collection and part of his gallery stock through Deutscher & Hackett in Sydney on 15 March, 2017.

The gallery was established by Rob Gould and his mother in its current premises in Toorak Road, South Yarra in 1980, and in the early 2000's also had an outlet in Queen Street Woollahra.

Deutscher + Hackett catalogue estimates for The Gould Collection of Important Australian Art compiled by the Australian Art Sales Digest are from $5.9 million to $8.1 million hammer.

Tom and Sylvia Lowenstein are about to auction more than 250 paintings, works on paper and sculptures valued at $2 million through Mossgreen Auctions as their firm Lowenstein’s Arts Management prepares for a new era. Leading the auction is John Olsen’s Rabbit Warren, Rydal 1997 with a catalogue estimate of $120,000-$150,000.
By Richard Brewster on 03-Mar-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Accountant to the artists slims collection with sale through Mossgreen

Tom and Sylvia Lowenstein are about to auction more than 250 paintings, works on paper and sculptures valued at $2 million as their firm Lowenstein’s Arts Management prepares for a new era. The couple occupy a unique position in the Australian art world as patrons, collectors and close confidantes to many Australian artists and, through these relationships, have created a collection that represents the very best of modern and contemporary art.

As February drew to a close, three of the major New Zealand art auctioneers held sales in Auckland in the same week giving collectors an opportunity to acquire works of art in a range of media for a reasonable capital outlay.
This suite of second and third tier art offered some excellent buying across a range of schools, styles subjects and media.
By John Perry in Auckland on 02-Mar-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Bang / bang / bang / three in a row... the New Year kicks off.

Well what a year of change 2016 was with all sorts of records being set at art auction by the major players, mostly in Auckland. Perhaps the most interesting detail to emerge was the record amount spent on art works during the year.

The new year has been quiet, but as February drew to a close the three major Auckland art auctioneers all held sales in the same week giving collectors an opportunity to acquire works of art in a range of media for a reasonable capital outlay.

This suite of second and third tier art offered some excellent buying across a range of schools, styles subjects and media.

A new unillustrated art book from one of the world’s most prestigious art publishers, contains some surprising inclusions and omissions. One of the  inclusions, given the art elite’s snootiness about art salesmanship, is the former Sydney dealer Barry Stern whose dealings in the 1960s and 1970s were ground breaking and honest, according to the author Christopher Heathcote. Stern is shown here in a photograph taken by Terry Ingram when the dealer lived in Morocco..
By Terry Ingram on 27-Feb-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Unillustrated art book has colourful take on Australian dealers but some blank canvasses

A period rich in characters observed with the eye of the seasoned flaneur is described in great detail and considerable perception in Inside the Art Market: Australia’s Galleries A History: 1956-1976.

The book is a tribute to the “real characters” who emerged during the market's creation in its seminal years. That was when and artists still wore berets and corduroy trousers instead of panama hats and Armani suits and rode on buses instead of driving Bentleys.

 

The final sale of in the disposal of the Thomas Vroom Collection features many works by Emily Kngwarreye including Desert Flowers 1995 (above) estimated at $12,000-18,000, and Kathleen Petyarre – the two artists about which he was most passionate – and many other significant canvases, bark paintings, sculptures, prints and artefacts.
By Richard Brewster on 21-Feb-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Fourth and final sale of Thomas Vroom Collection.

Over the past 60 years, Europeans and Americans – not Australians - have been in the majority when it comes to significant collections of Aboriginal art.

Chief among them is Dutchman Thomas Vroom, who in the late 1980s first encountered Australian indigenous art in New York.

For the next two decades, he became a passionate collector on an unprecedented level – acquiring important historical works at auction, tracking down and directly acquiring old collections, buying contemporary works on numerous trips to remote regions, from galleries in Australian capital cities and from international dealers.

Highlight of the sale were 12 sculptures in bronze and one in marble by British sculptor John Robinson (1935-2007) which accounted for 11 of the top 15 prices in the sale. Highest price in the sale was for the marble figure 'Danaide', (illustrated) 1985, (after the version by Rodin) which sold for $62,000 against estimates of $15,000-25,000.
By John Furphy on 21-Feb-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Sleeping figure by British sculptor with Australian connections shines at Mossgreen's Bowral sale

Mossgreen's first New South Wales auction for 2017 was not held in their saleroom in Queen Street Woollahra, but at the Gibraltar Hotel, Bowral, close to the property of the vendor, the late Michael Ball at Sutton Forrest.

Michael Ball was born and educated in Melbourne, but his career with advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather led him live and work in the US, Canada, England, Italy and Asia before retiring to Sutton Forest.

Over his life time he assembled an eclectic collection of furniture, glassware, sculpture, antiquities, tribal artefacts and taxidermy.

Coinciding with British artist David Hockney’s major solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Leonard Joel will offer two works by the artist at their auction on Thursday February 16 in their salerooms in South Yarra. 'Sunbather' 1970, (above) carries an estimate of $1,000-$1,500, while 'Parade Metropolitan Opera' 1981 is estimated at $1,200-1,800
By Richard Brewster on 10-Feb-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Two works by David Hockney to feature in Leonard Joel's first specialist print and photography auction for 2017

British artist David Hockney’s major solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria until March 13 is expected to generate plenty of interest in Leonard Joel’s first specialist print and photography auction for 2017 because two of his works will feature in the sale.

Now 79, Hockney is regarded as one of the most influential living artists and the exhibition features more than 1200 works from the past decade of his career including paintings, digital drawings, photography and video works.

The international guns fired again at Menzies first sale for 2017 in Melbourne, with Fernand Leger’s China Town, 1943, realising $1,875,000 including buyer’s premium. This price sits more than $300,000 shy of its previous realisation in 2015, but is still a bargain by heated international standards.
By Peter James Smith on 10-Feb-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Menzies closes the ledger on its first sale for 2017 with 82% clearance rate.

Garnishing the full flavour of secondary market cycles Menzies auctioneer Martin Farrah gathered a confident 82% clearance rate from bidders in Melbourne’s fading summer heat for the first major sale of 2017. The international guns fired again with Fernand Leger’s China Town, 1943, (lot 40) realising $1,875,000 including buyer’s premium. (All realised prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.) This price sits more than $300,000 shy of its previous realisation in 2015, but is still a bargain by heated international standards. Menzies February 2017 sale is a tale of firsts and lasts, of re-runs, of a market treading softly towards the upper end, but striding firmly at the lower.

Menzies will hold their first auction for 2017 on 9 February  in their rooms at 1 Darling Street South Yarra, and it will include a work from Danila Vassilieff’s most important period, the Soap Box Derby 1938, which according to Menzies head of Australian art Tim Abdallah, is the artist’s best work to come onto the Australian art auction market. Estimated at $40,000-50,000 it will have to exceed the top estimate to beat the record for a painting by the artist, which stands at $60,000 (hammer).
By Richard Brewster on 06-Feb-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Usual strong offerings for first Menzies sale of 2017.

Art lovers who visit Stonington mansion in Malvern over the next few days to view paintings earmarked for Menzies forthcoming auction on 9 February, will be struck on entry by the strong colour and highly stylised rendering of modern urban life in French 20th century master Fernand Léger’s 1943 work China Town, which takes pride of place in the foyer.

Australian painting is anything but over-priced if a Canadian painting sold in Toronto for a record price on November 23 is what at first it seems. The painting, Mountain Forms, executed in 1926 by Canadian artist Lawren Harris (1885 – 1970) sold for $C11.2 million at a Heffel’s auction in the former Toronto Stock Exchange Building.
By Terry Ingram on 11-Jan-2017 Exclusive to the AASD

Cold mountain turns Canadian art hot and puts Australian art in the shade

Australian painting is anything but over-priced if a Canadian painting sold in Toronto for a record price on November 23 is what at first it seems.

The painting, Mountain Forms, executed in 1926 by Canadian artist Lawren Harris (1885 – 1970) sold for $C11.2 million at a Heffel’s auction in the former Toronto Stock Exchange Building.

03-Jan-2017

Art Authenticator Peter Paul Biro Loses Appeal in New Yorker Defamation Suit [More holiday reading]

In a closely-watched defamation case, art authenticator Peter Paul Biro has lost his appeal of a case he brought against writer David Grann and New Yorker magazine publisher Condé Nast concerning  that raised questions about Biro’s methodology. Click the following link to read the full New Yorker  2010 article, The Mark of a Masterpiece.

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