The [Melbourne Art Fair] closed yesterday with some galleries reporting weaker high-end sales but overall results equal to the previous fair in 2008.
Melbourne’s Sophie Gannon Gallery sold 20 works worth a total of $120,000, Sydney’s Tim Olsen Gallery achieved about $200,000 from 15 works and Grant Smith, from indigenous art specialists Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, realised $140,000 in sales.
Mr Smith said the market for Aboriginal paintings was strong despite two recent weak auctions that rattled the industry.
The National Gallery of Victoria paid $8800 for Witchetty Grub Story by in-demand newcomer Ngupulya Pumani. “I could have sold that painting at least 10 times,” Mr Smith said.
Sydney gallery Roslyn Oxley 9 sold a 30-year-old Rosalie Gasgoyne tableau of newspapers for $165,000 to a private collector. Ms Oxley said business had been tough in the past month but sales at the fair were better than in 2008.