Two recent sales in the Australian indigenous art market suggest Aboriginal art may be making a comeback, especially with works from established collections:
Mossgreen’s head of Australian indigenous art, D’lan Davidson, fresh from last week’s Melbourne sale of the collection of Canberra academic Alan Boxer, which sold 100 per cent of lots and raised a total of $1.04 million, is greatly encouraged by recent trends. Alongside Mossgreen’s solid sale, Deutscher and Hackett achieved a 99 per cent sold rate at its $3.4 million sale of the Colin and Liz Laverty collection of Aboriginal art in Sydney, on March 8.
“The mainstays of the market have been well supported over the past two years but now we see people coming out and bidding on works that are well proven and beautiful to look at – there’s some real confidence for the newer, up-and-coming artists,” he says. […]
As is now well recognised, the Aboriginal art market suffered a triple whammy over recent years. The previous Labor government effectively ruled out self-managed super funds investing in art and also launched a resale royalty scheme largely to benefit impoverished Aboriginal artists, a disincentive to buyers. Meanwhile, amid a rising Australian dollar and slowing world economy, foreign buyers – who once accounted for a reputed 50 per cent of the market – largely pulled out.
Mossgreen’s Davidson sees signs of a revival in foreign interest with today’s lower dollar.