Nicholas Forrest reviews the two auctions held on the 25th of March. In the first installment he looks at the build up to the auctions:
All eyes were on Deutscher and Hackett on the 25th of March with the Melbourne based art auction house conducting their very first dedicated Aboriginal art sale.
The stakes could not have been higher for Deutscher and Hackett who not only faced the inescapable pressure associated with the beginning of any sort of new venture but also had to contend with the increased expectations of success that the circumstances (intentional or otherwise), under which the auction was conducted, created. What were these circumstances?. Well, first of all, the fact that Menzies Art Brands decided to include Aboriginal art in their general art auctions as opposed to having separate Aboriginal art sales at the beginning of 2008 leaving what many would consider a gap in the market. With Deutscher and Hackett seemingly aiming to fill that gap in the market one would expect that their auction would attract the extra business that was presumably up for grabs after Menzies Art Brands stopped conducting stand-alone Aboriginal art sales. Secondly, the abundance of lower priced works in the catalogue meant that the expectations of success were even higher due to the general affordability of the catalogue. And last, but definitely not least, was the rather bad decision by DH to hold their auction on the same night as the major Menzies Art Brands auction that took place in Sydney. The Menzies Art Brands March 25 major fine art auction would have been tough competition for any other auction let alone an inaugural dedicated Aboriginal art sale that doesn’t have any history or track record to attract business.