Australia’s new rules for art used as a retirement asset is causing ripple effects through the already weak Aboriginal art market. The retirement schemes are said to account for a large portion of Aboriginal art purchases over recent years. Now with strict rules against having the art on display and onerous storage costs, many are divesting including Melbourne dealers Bill Nuttall and Annette Reeves who will make $289,000 after selling three quarters of their 120-piece investment collection. Buyers will pay a total of $352,000:
Bonhams Aboriginal art specialist Greer Adams admitted “the higher end of the market is still a little tough at the moment”.
Ms Adams said most works went to private buyers but there was some bidding from institutions. More than six artist records were set, including a spectacular sale for a work shown in the 2007 Telstra Art Awards, Gurtha at Biranybirany by Rerrkirrwaa Munuygurr, which sold for $9000 (including the premium) off an estimate of $1500 to $2500. The stand-out result from the second part of the sale was Paddy Bedford’s Thoonbi, for $180,000 including the premium.
Indigenous Art Auction Falls Short (The Australian)