Bonhams have emerged as the Fine Art Auctioneer of 2013.
Their much publicised sale of the Laverty Collection of Aboriginal and Australian Contemporary Art was seen by many as a major coup. So much so that Bonhams decided to tour the collection to London and New York before its sale at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney on 24 March.
This 266 lot sale, although heavily weighted towards Aboriginal art, also contains a healthy number of well-known white contemporary Australian artists. The collection reveals an obsession with a number of artists. For example there are 12 works by Peter Booth, 10 by Robert Klippel (now represented by world power art dealer Galerie Gmurzynska), 7 mostly quite tame examples of Richard Larter’s oeuvre, 6 lots of quirk by Noel McKenna and 7 abstracts by Ildiko Kovacs.
Others with several works in this sale include Aida Tomescu, Dick Watkins, Ken Whisson and William Robinson, and numerous lots by Aboriginal artists including Paddy Bedford, Emily Kngwarreye and John Mawurndjul.
The Museum of Contemporary Art would have to be the perfect location to display these works prior to their sale. There will be many hotly contested works – amongst them three striking examples by Rosalie Gascoigne.
You can view online at Bonhams and in person on 22 and 23 March from 10 am to 5 pm, and on 24 March from 10 am to 1pm at the Foundation Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art, Circular Quay, Sydney. The auction is held on 24 March, 2 pm.
Bonhams have also managed last week to trump themselves with securing the Grundy Collection of Australian Art with a value in the range of $ 15 million to $ 20 million. This is the auction coup of the decade, as that is about how often a sale of this magnitude comes on to the market in Australia.
The Australian art auction market turned over $ 95 million last year. The Grundy Collection in particular will not only propel Bonhams to the top of the art auctioneers’ tree, but this one sale has also the potential to turn the art auction industry around and lift prices from their rather prolonged malaise.