The Sydney Morning Herald explains that Australia’s art market hasn’t rebounded in 2010 the way European and Asian markets have.
The Australian market, by contrast, is creeping back ever so slowly, and is far from the heady takings of 2007, when a total of $175 million in sales was made. This year, the total art auction turnover was $102.6 million – better than 2009’s $88.1 million but nothing to crow about.
As art market analyst Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios points out, when the $102.6 million figure is adjusted for inflation, it is comparable to the market’s size back in the late ’90s.
One reason for the falling numbers has been the confusion created in the market by the shuffling ownership of the Sotheby’s name and the aggressive move by Bonhams to defend their foothold in the country. Where that particularly comes to bear is the Aboriginal art market where falling sales volumes have weakened the overall market art market totals and Bonhams is launching an assault by creating a standalone Aboriginal department:
The Aboriginal art market endured a particularly onerous slump – the year’s total auction takings for Aboriginal art slipped even further from 2009’s low of $10.9 million to a mere $8.34 million. Adjusted for inflation, that takes the Aboriginal art market back to levels 10 years ago.
Art Auction Houses Feeling Stretched (Sydney Morning Herald)