ART MARKET AUSTRALIA
It has been a tough year for auction houses in Australia in 2008 says The Australian
AFTER a bumper 2007, the Australian art auction market is down nearly 35 per cent this year, with $114.5 million of art works going under the hammer.Sotheby’s managing director Lesley Alway said this year had been tough.
“No one predicted the fallout that occurred from mid to later this year from the global economy situation,” Ms Alway said.
Nevertheless Sothebys remains committed to Australia
Despite continuing industry rumours that Sotheby’s might follow Christie’s and shut its Australian operation, the company was here to stay.
“We’ve just had approval to go ahead for our business plan for next year,” she said. Sotheby’s had already consigned some important paintings for its auction next year.
Art galleries report that the serious collectors are coming back to the market
Unlike the early 1990s crash, when several commercial galleries and dealers were forced to close their doors, industry players say the current scenario is less bleak. Significantly, serious collectors who stopped buying during last year’s overheated art market are slowly returning.
Art adviser David Hulme said: “Good art will survive any crisis, and the committed collectors will always be there, whether it’s the primary market or the secondary auction market. Perhaps 2007 was an aberration; time will tell.”
Gallery owner Stuart Purves said his Sydney and Melbourne galleries, Australian Galleries, had experienced a Christmas rush from collectors.