Australia’s art market has been in a long contraction but the Sydney Morning Herald thinks there are signs of life in the upcoming September sales, including the Sept. 15th auction at Shapiro’s:
The managing director of Shapiro, Andrew Shapiro, started pursuing the Herman collection last October against competition from other auction houses. He secured it in May. The 17 paintings and three drawings, including some of the painter’s well-known inner-city street scenes, come from the estate of Andrew Curtis, a Holocaust survivor who did well in Australia and befriended Herman, who was also a Jewish refugee.
”It was very sought after because it is a full retrospective of his work from early to late career and some of his best work is in it,” Shapiro says.
”Are people spending? I’m not, but the luxury market is doing OK and someone always has money. In this market, what people want and what performs is a collection. Buyers want material that has not been on the market for 40 years so this is a real sale.”
At a Mossgreen auction held in June last year, Herman’s Argyle Place secured a record $137,425 for the artist’s work, including buyer’s premium. Shapiro’s cover painting is Terraces, Millers Point, a 1975 oil on canvas estimated to sell for between $30,000 and $50,000. Shapiro was excited to discover that the collection included the work Richmond Bridge, Tasmania ($20,000 to $30,000) and another Herman painting of which he had never heard, The artist’s studio with cat (self-portrait), ($30,000 to $50,000).
Auction Houses Paint a Rosy Picture (Sydney Morning Herald)