From the Age:

The sales will be a litmus test of the market in these tight financial times. In Melbourne, Deutscher and Hackett will launch its inaugural Aboriginal art sale, while, in Sydney, Rod Menzies will auction 250 works in the Deutscher-Menzies and Lawson-Menzies fine art sale.

“It’s just madness having them all on the same night. The market is volatile enough as it is,” says art consultant and dealer Jon Dwyer.

But Deutscher and Hackett director Chris Deutscher doesn’t see the Sydney sales as competition: “(Rod Menzies) only has a few Aboriginal things and we are a specialist Aboriginal art sale.”

The key work to go under the hammer at Deutscher and Hackett tonight is Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s sprawling Untitled (Alhalkere), from 1995, painted in the year before she died. It features her trademark broad, confident brush strokes and grid-like patterns, in a minimal palette of ochres and white, depicting her country. The work is estimated to fetch $150,000-$200,000 – a reasonably priced work, Mr Dwyer says. Mr Deutscher suggests that a couple of years ago the work might have sold for up to $400,000.

But Mr Dwyer’s overall assessment of the quality of works on offer at Deutscher and Hackett is less salutary: “It would have been nice to have a really big impact sale to launch the season, but this catalogue does not deliver that.”