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Australia’s best art auction result in 17 years

Deutscher and Hackett's recent auction in Melbourne marked a significant achievement in the Australian art market, realizing a record-breaking $16,998,750 from just 47 sold lots out of 55. This event, noted as the highest-grossing mixed vendor art auction in Australia since 2007, featured top-quality works drawing vigorous bidding. Highlighting the auction, John Peter Russell's painting "Cruach en Mahr, Matin, Belle-Île-en-Mer, c.1905," exceeded its estimate of $1.5 million to $2.5 million, fetching $4 million. This piece, known for its vibrant coloration and historical significance, was previously displayed in a prestigious exhibition at the National Gallery, London. The auction's success was attributed to the exceptional quality of the artworks offered, capturing significant attention and investment.

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Rediscovered Klimt Sold For €30m

The artwork in question is Gustav Klimt’s unfinished Portrait of Fraulein Lieser, commissioned a year before Klimt’s death in 1918. Despite its recent rediscovery, much of the work still remains a mystery: scholars still debate over precisely which member of the wealthy Liesler family is depicted in the painting, or what had happened to the painting after its disappearance in 1925. The identity of the current Austrian owners were not made public, though the painting was sold under the Washington Principles, an international agreement that returns looted art to the descendants of the original owners. The auction house responsible for the sale called it a “fair and just solution”; however, there have been calls among the Austrian Jewish community for greater transparency and independent research in order to verify the provenance of the work.

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Frieze New York Opens, A Barometer for the Market?

Frieze New York's 12th edition prominently underscores the city's role as a pivotal player in the global art market, particularly during a period of economic uncertainties and shifting collector dynamics. Hosted at The Shed, the fair attracts significant attention with its high-value artworks and a vibrant blend of local and international talent. Despite the economic downturn and cautious collector behaviour, Frieze New York continues to thrive, drawing seasoned collectors and new entrants alike, indicating a robust interest in high-quality, blue-chip art. Notable sales include Sterling Ruby’s abstract paintings and works by Robert Rauschenberg. The fair's success demonstrates its crucial role in maintaining New York's status as an art market powerhouse, effectively bridging various sub-markets and adapting to the evolving landscape of collectors and digital art interests.

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Fiery Indian and Chinese Art Sales At New York’s Asia Art Week

Last month, auction houses Christies’ and Sotheby’s hosted strong sales of Chinese antiquities and contemporary South Asian art. Despite concerns over the slowing Chinese economy, Chinese art sales held strong, with Christies’ reporting a 4% increase over the same sale last year. However, it was the South Asian art sales that exceeded expectations: both Christies’ and Sotheby’s saw a drastic increase in sales from last year, with Christies’ selling all of its offered lots -- a rare phenomenon that indicated high interest levels among buyers. The most expensive lot sold during Asia Art Week also belonged to an Indian artist -- a painting by the great modernist Sayed Haider Raza that was sold for USD 5.6 million. Close behind it was another work by Indian artist Francis Newton Souza, which sold for five times its high estimate at USD 4.9 million. Though the Indian art market typically lags behind its Chinese counterparts, but the recent sale numbers at Asia Art Week shows clear signs of change.

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‘Vietnamese Lady’ painting by Le Pho sells for over half a million dollars

The painting "Vietnamese Lady" by Le Pho, a prominent Vietnamese artist, sold for 781,200 Singapore Dollars (about $558,629) at a Sotheby's auction in Singapore. Created in 1938, this ink and gouache on silk artwork features a young woman in traditional Vietnamese attire, the áo dài, seated in a wooden chair. Described by Sotheby's as a rare and exquisitely painted piece, it demonstrates Pho's skill with silk. The auction included 50 works by 37 Southeast Asian artists, highlighting Pho's significance with eight featured works. His historical impact is noted, having been the first Vietnamese artist to achieve over $1 million in auction sales.

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Published on May 2, 2024
Yu Ke Dong

Ke Dong is a seasoned art writer and current double major in English Literature and Art History at NTU. Having worked with esteemed art institutions in Singapore, Ke Dong now regularly contributes his keen research skills, adept writing abilities and passion for art to the Art Works discourse.


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