Art and Culture play an essential role in Australian culture. If one goes to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, he will find a huge collection of indigenous and contemporary art collection. It shows the rich and diversified art culture which has evolved over the centuries. Australia has a well-established auction culture. Capital cities such as Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne have many auction listing houses which conduct auctions regularly. Art auctions in Sydney, Melbourne, and other cities are very popular and despite the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the art market has flourished. Strong auction outcomes have been witnessed in all kinds of art genres.
A brief about the Australian art sold at auction houses
Auction houses in Australia feature arts of different eras. From aboriginal art to contemporary art, paintings with fine use of pastel colors, watercolors, and charcoal can be seen in the art. Paintings of famous contemporary aboriginal artists such as Bromley, Gillie & Marc, and Earles & Popov are sold in the big auction houses. A wide category of fine quality sculptures created by fine artists of 19th and 20th century European and American sculptors can also be seen at these houses.
What is an Art Auction?
It is a mode of sale of art that is led by an auctioneer. Held in big Australian auction houses, these houses conduct auctions for fine art which can even date back to the 17th century. It is not easy to organize art auctions in Sydney, Canberra and other big cities, and therefore, it is planned months in advance. Activities such as preparing the list of art available for sale, giving a prior invitation to the potential bidders, and taking government approvals are a few of the tasks that the auction houses need to perform.
How does an art auction actually function?
As mentioned earlier, the potential bidders are given a warm invitation by providing them a preliminary view of the art auction and the conditions attached to it.
After the preliminary view, the interested buyers need to get themselves registered with the auctioneer. Anybody can get himself to be registered, however, these rules might be modified for prestigious auction houses. Details such as phone number, address, et cetera are required.
A payment of token money might also be required upon which the buyers are given a special card for their identification.
A ceremonial ritual in almost all the auction houses, the bell is struck which highlights the beginning of the auction. The host initiates the auction by introducing each item to the bidders. The bidder starts the bidding with a base price and the price keeps increasing until a bidder wins over the other bidders.
The entire procedure of bidding stops when all the items available for sale have been displayed. The hammer is struck and the bidder gets possession of the item after making the payment for the same.
Triumph over Covid Adversity!
Despite the initial downfall of the art market in Australia due to the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic, the market rebounded quickly and flourished strongly with excellent auction results. Remarkably, a shocking pattern was seen in consumer behavior during the pandemic restrictions. Traditional auctions got replaced with online auctions. With the transitions of our homes becoming the new epicenter of the workplace, the disposable income which was earlier spent on holidays was now used for art and furniture. Hence, the demand for art saw an uprise in the Australian markets. Another surprising factor is that high-value arts were also sold online. Online videos and virtual tours of art galleries became a new phenomenon and the buyers quickly adapted to the new trend. As a newly developed global phenomenon, the Australian art market is also dominated by female artists. Potential buyers are ready to pay a premium price to collect artworks made by female artists. In fact, the big houses are also pursuing the arts made by female artists due to the rising demand
With the art market changing and evolving over the years, it will be interesting to watch how the auction houses and the bidders will adapt to the changing methods of auctioning.