Auction Wrap from Sydney to New York

12 May 2016

The Denis Savill Collection of Australian Art went under the hammer by Sotheby’s Australia on Tuesday evening followed by the Australian & International Art sale the following night. Savill’s collection was not exactly “fresh”. Around 90% of the works had been to auction over the last 20 years with many exposed in the past two years. The most successful lots were Sidney Nolan's River-Bank 1964 (Lot 40 ) which sold for $1.35 million hammer against estimates of $600,000 to $900,000 and Charles Blackman's The Ceremony (Lot 29 ) which made $500,000 (estimate $250,000 to $300,000). The collection grossed $5,355,678 or 86.7 per cent by volume and 183.8 per cent by value. Full Results

Sotheby's Important Australian & International Art realised an exceptional $8.87 million including buyer’s premium with 71.6% sold by volume and 121.6% sold by value.  The combined May sales realised a total $14.2 million, the highest auction result for Sotheby’s Australia since May 2007. The highlight of the evening was Fred Williams’ Hillside Landscape No. 1 (1966) selling for $1,830,000 (estimate $1 - $1.2million), the highest priced Australian painting sold at auction since 2014. John Brack's Two Running Girls 1959 raced to $1,647,000 (estimate $1,000,000-1,200,000) and Christmas Lilies 1955 bloomed with a result of $488,000 (estimate $200,000-300,000). Full Results

On the international stage, Christie's major sale of postwar and contemporary art at Rockefeller Center in New York scored $318.4 million on Tuesday evening, 10th May. The most expensive lot of the night was a large Untitled canvas by Jean-Michel Basquiat, dating from 1982 The final price was $57.3 million, a new record for the artist at auction. Full Results

Insight

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SBS News 12.02.17 Road to Damascus: Australian artist Luke Cornish unveils Syria-inspired exhibition

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James Drinkwater special feature AFR. 21-22 Jan, 2017

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If an advertising agency set out to design a new generation Australian painter who combined all the most attractive aspects of his predecessors, the result would be James Drinkwater​. John McDonald.

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