The Australian Financial Review has news of an interesting new strategy at Menzies, the Melbourne auctioneer. Acknowledging the torpid state of the Australian art market since the global financial crisis despite some boom times in Australia’s economy, AFR reports that Menzies will be looking to acquire works in New York that it hopes to arbitrage in Australia.
The first work is an abstract by Fernand Leger, Chinatown that Menzies has offered before and will offer again this month:
A vibrant abstract, it has a pre-sale estimate of $1.4 million to $1.8 million. It was apparently bought by Menzies executive chairman Rodney Menzies at Sotheby’s New York in May 2015 and reoffered in Melbourne the following month. Also among foreign works is Flowers with Book, a still life by Louis Valtat – an early 20th century French impressionist who was associated with the Fauves.
It would appear the firm will be importing more overseas works to offer on the local market if currency moves are favourable.
Executive chairman Rodney Menzies says he plans to spend much of his time in the US this year, having purchased an apartment in New York, and expects to bring more paintings into Australia.