The Australian art market is wrapping up with the November sales showing continuing strength as the market digs out of an 18 month recession-induced slump. All together the sales totalled more than A$12m supporting the auctioneer’s claim that there is more demand than supply as art owners lack confidence to put a work up on the block. Here’s Chris Deutscher commenting in The Age on his positive sale results at one of his several auction houses:
The Deutscher and Hackett sale turned over $3.15 million (including commissions), and 76 per cent of works sold. “Gosh, this sale was a struggle to put together, as have most sales this year, so to get $2.5 million would have been pleasing, and $3 million was just fabulous,” he said. […]
Sotheby’s posted the week’s best auction result – bringing in a total of $7.36 million (including commissions) on Monday night, and another $2 million on Tuesday at its Aboriginal art sale.
As the week drew to an end, Tim Goodman, the new chairman of Sotheby’s, was predicting a livelier art market next year. The big challenge this year was the lack of stock as collectors became reluctant to sell quality works in a depressed market, he said, but this was about to change.
The Australian follows up with this analysis–and, of course, a quote from Deutscher:
The November auctions are usually the smallest of the year because buyers are distracted by other things and it is only three months since the August sales. But sellers have tended to withhold artworks for the past 18 months, fearful of not finding buyers.
When the recent August sales showed buyers were keen for blue-chip works, sellers responded by releasing artworks for these November sales, which will achieve the best clearance rate of the year.
“It really did perform as if we were in 2006 or 2007,” Mr Deutscher said of the auction. “There’s still a shortage of high-quality work on the market which is driving up prices.”
Sky’s the Limit at A$1.38m (The Age)
Art Market’s $12m Bounce (The Australian)