Peter Coster looks back on 2007

Aboriginal Art Directory | 14.12.07

Author: Peter Coster
News source: Herald Sun

Peter Coster from the Herald Sun looks at the Australian auction results in 2007. He talks about distributions to the artist and highlights works by Rover Thomas, Emily Kngwarreye and Clifford Possum.

Quoted from the article:

Climbing the steps to see a great painting at Sotheby's rooms on a quiet day before its sale remains the most memorable moment of my auction year.

It was almost a religious experience as there, on a starkly white wall, with the impact of a stained-glass window in a European cathedral, was Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri's Warlugulong.

It is from a different dreaming and it made me a convert to a belief in indigenous art.

This Aboriginal icon has put indigenous art alongside what is called Australian art, but which means "white" art.

"Black" art is its equal when a painting such as this is regarded as one of the greatest Australian paintings of the 20th century.

Warlugulong was sold the night after my epiphany for $2.4 million with the artist's daughter pushing her way into the standing-room only crowd after arriving on a tram from Coburg where she was staying with a friend.

There were tears of pride on her face but nothing in her hand to take home. The painting was sold on behalf of someone else, which makes the case for a royalty to go to artists or their families on the resale of their paintings all the stronger. It is so in France where there is a droit de seigneur that sees artists paid no matter how many times their work has changed hands.


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Contact Details

Gallery: Sotheby's Australia
Telephone: +61 (0)2 9302 2402
Address: 30 Queen Street Woollahra Sydney 2025 NSW

Gallery: Lawsons Auctioneers
Telephone: +61 2 9566 2377
Address: 8-16 Moore Street Leichhardt Sydney 2040 NSW



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