Enthusiastic Australians Flock to the Art Market
The 11th Annual Melbourne Art fair demonstrates that Russian and Gulf States collectors are not the only ones riding the commodities boom toward art.
Bloomberg has this report on the Australian art market which is driven primarily by interest in Australian art:
About 30,000 people viewed more than 3,000 contemporary artworks, many of them by the country’s indigenous painters. The biennial event in the World Heritage building had a record $11 million sales, a 16 percent increase on 2006. The total compares with $10 million at this year’s annual art fair in Tokyo, a city 10 times the size.
“The contemporary art scene is very strong in Australia at the moment,” said John Cruthers, an art consultant and curator who oversees his family’s collection of works by Australian women artists. “Besides the wealthy collectors, there are a lot of younger collectors who want something that’s about `Now.”’
Aboriginal Art remains a distinctive and thriving part of the Australian art market:
“The indigenous works have evolved and are no longer simply of ethnographic interest,” said Colin Laverty. “They are great contemporary paintings coming from the world’s longest continually evolving art tradition.”
The Australian market is so hot, that Americans are making charity shop “discoveries” like the Grace Cossington Smith, a leading Australian modernist, that is estimated at between A$35,000 and A$45,000. A Dallas couple bought Wild Flowers and White Coral for $25 only to contact Sotheby’s when they’d learned more about Cossington Smith.
$45,000 painting bought for just $US25 (The Australian)