Just a quick few lines after the latest round of fine art auctions: it’s far from doom and gloom, and we still think the art market is doing rather well.
The auctions held in Melbourne this week – Sothebys, Bonhams & Goodman as well as Deutscher + Hackett – although perhaps a little shaky, managed to shift over 17 million dollars worth of art in less than one week.
And this hot on the heels of a Melbourne Art Fair reporting $ 12.1 million worth of art sales, which represents a growth of 16 % on the previous event in 2006.
Sotheby’s results alone, although disappointing, do not an art market recession make. In fact, the sale of two paintings – the John Glover and the John Brack – would have made everything very rosy, adding up to 3 million dollars to their $ 6.7 million total. Let’s not forget, Sothebys also broke a new record with Russell Drysdale at $ 1.89 million.
Bonhams & Goodman, for their part, would surely be far from disappointed with a result of just under 5 million dollars. You don’t break 5 artists’ auction records in difficult times. Bonhams & Goodman have created new highs for artists Penleigh Boyd with $266,400; Robert Dickerson $ 112,800; Fred Cress $ 66,000; Ida Rentoul Outhwaite $ 50,400 and sculptor Inge King $ 180,000.
Deutscher + Hackett was the third cab off the rank in the sales this week and sold a most satisfactory 72% of the works offered – generally anything over 60% is regarded as good. Admittedly, their much lauded John Brack Nude was not sold on the night, but it was purchased the next day; a sale is a sale. They will be very happy with this result.
We can pick at numerous statistics to make a good or a bad story. However you like to view it: almost $ 30 million worth of known art sales in just one month is a pretty good story and statistic, indicating strength in both primary and secondary art markets.