Prior Year News Archives:
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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