art market

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Watters Gallery: Tony Tuckson 1921-1973, Figurative Paintings and Preoccupations

November 15, 2018

It was a typically understated opening night at Watters Gallery last week for Tony Tuckson 1921-1973, Figurative Paintings and Preoccupations. If the atmosphere was a little sombre it was because this was the last hurrah for a Sydney institution and icon. After 54 years Watters is closing, and none of the visitors on that final … More


Contemporary Istanbul 2018

September 27, 2018

Having left Sydney while one art fair was winding up, I arrived in Istanbul on the eve of another. Shortly afterwards came the news that Sydney Contemporary had secured $21 million in sales, an increase of $5 million on last year’s total. This comes at a time when dealers complain about declining visitation and how … More


Sydney Contemporary 2018

September 14, 2018

This weekend is the high point of the year for the Sydney – and Australian – contemporary art scene. There may be some disagreement from folk in Melbourne, or from those who believe the Sydney Biennale remains the premier contemporary art event in this country. It’s clear though, the Sydney Contemporary art fair at Carriageworks … More


Art Basel Hong Kong 2018

April 6, 2018

“Oh my God, is that Wolfgang Tillmans? I just saw Jeff Koons! Look! It’s Olafur Eliasson!” In what Art Basel Hong Kong quaintly refers to as its “6th Edition”, the mania for celebrity-spotting reached new heights. I wish I could say these artists are idolised because of the superb quality of their work, but – … More


Sydney Contemporary 2017

September 15, 2017

It was both pleasing and wryly amusing to learn that sales at this year’s Sydney Contemporary Art Fair topped $16 million. For a commercial gallery sector feeling unloved and unvisited this figure represents a resounding endorsement. Nevertheless, before breaking out the champagne it’s worth putting that achievement into perspective with a glance at Day One … More


Melbourne Art Fair 2014

August 23, 2014

Art dealers in Australia have an image problem. Every time a high profile art fraud comes to court, as in the recent case of a dud Albert Tucker painting, there is a mass of lurid publicity. We hear shocking stories about the prevalence of fakes, shady dealers, unreliable auction practices and double-dipping art consultants. It … More


Markets & mindsets

September 11, 2012

In China last week for Shanghai Contemporary, it began to dawn on me why Australia’s commercial gallery scene seems to be struggling to keep afloat: while the contemporary art market has become completely globalised we remain a stubborn provincial outstation. This is no reflection on the quality of Australian art but it is a growing … More


Melbourne Art Fair 2012

August 11, 2012

Another Melbourne Art Fair, another chance to take the unsteady pulse of the local art market. With no hard data about turnover, a hasty prognosis would suggest the sector is still feeling the pain, although smiling through tears. Every year the Fair commissions a major work that is subsequently gifted to a public gallery. This … More


Masami Teraoka, Migration

June 2, 2012

One of the strangest developments in the Sydney art scene is the sudden upsurge of galleries showing and selling high priced international art. This is surprising, given the fact that these are dismal times for retail and the art business is essentially retail with delusions of grandeur. There are only two explanations: either there are … More


Art Hong Kong 2012

May 26, 2012

Hong Kong is ideally located to take advantage an eastern economic boom that keeps defying western prophets of doom. Although it may sound scarcely believable, that defiant attitude is shared by leading western art dealers who have begun opening gigantic new spaces in a city long known as a cultural backwater. Those bad old days … More


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