Two Strong Sales Show Strength Returning to Aboriginal Art Market

Tiger Palpatja, Wanampi Tjukurpa (A$24.4k)

Two recent sales in the Australian indigenous art market suggest Aboriginal art may be making a comeback, especially with works from established collections:

Mossgreen’s head of Australian indigenous art, D’lan Davidson, fresh from last week’s Melbourne sale of the collection of Canberra academic Alan Boxer, which sold 100 per cent of lots and raised a total of $1.04 million, is greatly encouraged by recent trends. Alongside Mossgreen’s solid sale, Deutscher and Hackett achieved a 99 per cent sold rate at its $3.4 million sale of the Colin and Liz Laverty collection of Aboriginal art in Sydney, on March 8.

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Tide Turning Toward Bouvier in Rybolovlev Conflict?

The embarrassing spat between eager buyer Dimitri Rybolovlev and sharp operator Yves Bouvier seems to be turning toward Bouvier. After the public spectacle of Bouvier’s arrest in Monaco and the freezing of some of his assets in Singapore, closer examination seems to reveal that Rybolovlev is simply not a sophisticated art buyer. Bouvier was very visible at TEFAF and happy to explain his role as a principal in the transactions. That means Bouvier bought works from willing sellers and then sold them to Rybolovlev at whatever price the Russian was willing to pay.

The additional 2% invoices that Rybolovlev produced, Bouvier told anyone who was curious, were out of pocket expenses related to buying the works including shipping, storage and insurance.

Sotheby’s Brings $40m Stone Collection to May

9340 Léger, La Roue Bleue, État Définitif

Sotheby’s has another strong Modern collection from Jerome H. Stone’s estate. Stone was a trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and founder of the Stone Container Corporation. The $40m collection includes 30 works some by Giacometti, Miró and this Léger, La Roue Bleue, État Définitif, estimated at $8 to $12m.

Mr. Stone and his wife assembled their collection mainly in the 1950s from major dealers, including Pierre Matisse and Sidney Janis. “Jerome Stone was one of a generation who was buying these when they were contemporary art — the paint was still wet,” [Simon] Shaw said. “These are the latest things from the European avant-garde. As such, this is a particularly rich window on a generation of collecting.”

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‘Cash for Your Warhol’ Becomes a Physical Meme

That great prank “Cash for Your Warhol” which was seen at ArtBasel Miami Beach in 2009 among other places. The photographer who created it, Geoff Hargadon is amazed that it still strikes a chord even with the Warhol Museum :

Since then it has snowballed, appearing in cities all over the country. People soliciting CFYW stickers and signs in the mail did Hardagon’s distribution work for him. He did not believe the joke would go on this long, but people keep responding to it.

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Artsy Raises Another $25m It Says It Doesn’t Need, Expanding Into China

The Wall Street Journal’s Private Equity Beat carries the news of Artsy’s latest fund-raising round. Carter Cleveland, the company’s CEO, says the money wasn’t sought:

A senior partner at Catterton, Michael Farello, is joining Artsy’s board with his firm’s investment.

This latest funding comes less than a year after the company raised $18.5 million in Series B funding, led by Thrive Capital. Other participants in the April 2014 round included entrepreneur Peter Thiel; art collector and entrepreneur Wendi Deng; Garage magazine Editor in Chief Dasha Zhukova; American art dealer Larry Gagosian; Sky Dayton, founder of Earthlink Inc. and Bongo Wireless Inc.; Expedia Inc. and Zillow Groupfounder Rich Barton; the Rockefeller family; IDG Capital Partners; and venture capitalist Neil Shen through the ZhenFund.

So far, Artsy has raised about $51 million in funding, the company said.

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