One of Australias most famous contemporary paintings, Earths Creation I by the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye, has sold at Fine Art Bourse
auctions for £1.2m, AUD$2.1M (including 5% buyers premium) breaking its own record for the highest price achieved at auction for an Australian female artist.
Fine Art Bourse (F.A.B.) and CooeeArt Marketplace, the newly formed auction house partnership behind the auction, revealed that it was acquired by Tim Olsen who has recently established a gallery in New York on behalf of a client.
F.A.B auctioneer, Tim Goodman, said: This has been an extraordinary journey. The brokering if this stunning painting with my colleagues at Cooee has been one of the highlights of my forty year career in the auction industry. This sale will go a long way to breathing life back into the Aboriginal art market. Aboriginal art is back!
The auction was originally launched on Tuesday evening at Chifley Tower, in the center of the financial district of Sydney. However, the auction was postponed due to a server overload due to either the thousands of people logging on simultaneously to watch the auction online or as a result of a cyberattack. An investigation is underway.
The auction was rescheduled and the venue moved to the Oxford Street Paddington premises of Cooee Art Australias oldest aboriginal art gallery. Earths Creation 1 has broken the auction record for any Australian Female artist, a record it had itself set in 2007 when it sold at an auction for AUD$1,050,000. More remarkably it has now broken the world auction record for an Aboriginal artist, previously set by Clifford Possums Going, going, gone for AUD$2.4m on July 24 2007.
Having been shown at the QAG, AGNSW, NGV, NMA, AGSA, National Gallery Japan, National Museum of Osaka and the Venice Biennale, Earths Creation I has the most impressive exhibition history of any Australian contemporary painting.
Adrian Newstead said. This may be the last time an indigenous painting of this calibre will appear at auction for a very long time if ever. It has been granted an export permit and we are delighted that it will go to a place where it can be appreciated by Australian and International audiences and enhance the standing and reputation of the entire Aboriginal arts, community and culture.
Other notable works sold at the hammer price included Lot 14, an untitled work from Jan Billycan, which sold for AUD$4,500, Lot 1, a much admired work by Minnie Pwerle, which sold for AUD$6,000, and lot 32 Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi, which sold for AUD$8,000. The auction featuring a total of 84 paintings by Australias greatest Aboriginal artists from private collections from the around the world. The sale generated a sell rate of 75% value and 70% by volume.