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          Cooee Art curates ethically sourced art from Australian Indigenous communities that we have formed relationships with for 40 years.

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          Shop online from the full portfolio of available Cooee Art artworks – paintings, sculptures, fine art prints and artisanal objects ranging from $100 – $500k.

        • EXHIBITIONS

          Cooee Art was established in 1981 and is Australia’s oldest exhibiting Indigenous art gallery. 

          The gallery has presented the finest Aboriginal and First Nations art through their exhibition program for over 40 years showing the work of over 150 individual artists.

          The Cooee Art stockroom includes contemporary Aboriginal paintings, rare bark paintings and artefacts, early desert boards and acrylic paintings as well as sculpture and limited edition fine art prints.

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          Cooee Art presents monthly solo and group exhibitions in the Paddington gallery supported by public programs including artist talks and workshops.

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          Explore forthcoming exhibitions in the Cooee Art galleries and our special event program.

        • AUCTIONS

          Cooee Art Auctions provide an informed and professional approach to buying and selling art in the secondary market. We are a market leader with specialist knowledge and proven results. 

          We offer collectable Australian and International artworks for sale by auction and private treaty. 

          Cooee Art Auctions work with artists, galleries, museums and private collections bi-annually to curate and consign artworks across two separate departments – Indigenous Fine Art and Modern & Contemporary Fine Art.

          Our auctions and previews for potential buyers and collectors are presented in the Cooee Art premium 480sqm hybrid gallery and auction space in Paddington. 

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          Cooee Art Auctions offers bi-annual auctions of significant and highly-collectible Australian Indigenous artworks.

          Our Art Market Analytics provides comprehensive artist profiles and market analytics on Australia’s 200 most important Aboriginal artists.

        • Modern & Contemporary Fine Art

          Introducing Modern and Contemporary Australian and international art.

          We seek to establish new benchmarks for pricing and documentation for artists in the secondary art market

        • Art Market Analytics

          Cooee Art has created a comprehensive art market analytics tool with easy navigation. The information we provide is designed to be an invaluable resource for art consultants, valuers, and industry professionals and to serve the interests of artists, galleries, institutions, art centres, collectors and researchers.

        • Artist Profiles

          Each artist is ranked according to their career, and annual artist ranking index. Detailed profiles, market analysis and performance indicators are provided for a growing list of artists along with the artworks that have achieved their ten highest results at auction.

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          Provides professional advice on the Indigenous art market in line with other investment categories, thereby serving the interests of artists, galleries and collectors.

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          The Cooee Art team has been providing expert advice for over 40 years in a Consultancy capacity to offer a breadth of services for the business side of art.

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          Cooee Art Founding Director Adrian Newstead OAM has more than 20 years experience in valuing Aboriginal art and artefacts (pre-contact to Contemporary).

        • EXHIBITION AND EVENT MANAGEMENT

          Cooee Art curates and coordinates exhibitions on behalf of charitable organisations, commercial businesses and galleries in Australia and overseas utilising its extensive contacts with individual artists, artists’ agents, galleries and important private and public collections.

        • ABOUT

          Cooee Art was originally established in 1981 and runs a hybrid art model to represent and support artists in an ethical and sustainable way. We have two galleries, our flagship gallery in the heart of Aboriginal Sydney in Redfern and a boutique showroom gallery in Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach along with a seperate fine art auction wing, Cooee Art Auctions established in 2017. Cooee is now Australia’s oldest exhibiting Indigenous art gallery. Since first working with Australian Aboriginal artists in 1981, we have presented the finest First Nations art through exhibitions and events in Australia, Europe, and the Americas.

  • Contact

Cooee Art foremost acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, as the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded land and waters on which we work and reside.

ABORIGINAL FINE ART GALLERY, PURCHASE AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART, CONTEMPORARY AND ABORIGINAL ART FOR SALE – SYDNEY

Price and availability are subject to change at the gallery’s discretion. While we try to ensure the accuracy of all data across the website, Cooee Art reserves the right to cancel a sale due to price change.

The artist holds the copyright for all images throughout the website and must not be reused or reproduced in any way without explicit permission.

© COOEE ART 1981 – 2021

Mawalan Marika

Upcoming auction

Profile

Mawalan Marika, head of the Rirratjingu clan from North East Arhnem land, is considered one of the true greats of the bark tradition. Born into an era before intensive European colonisation, he became a principle informant to anthropologists Charles Mountford, Roland Berndt and Catherine Berndt in the production of much of the early literature on Arnhem Land song poetry. He was one of the first painters commissioned by the missionary Wilbur Chaseling and produced artworks for Dr Stuart Scougall and Tony Tuckson at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney in the late 1950’s. Yet his life and work testify to an ambiguous relationship with the colonial presence. He was amongst the ringleaders in the fight for Aboriginal land rights in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He played an instrumental role in the production of the ‘Bark Petition’ to the Commonwealth Parliament, used effectively as testament to their claim over the land and consequent right to negotiate the terms of mining on it. Moreover, he made a very personal political statement in introducing women to painting on bark in the 1960’s when he taught his two oldest daughters to paint their family designs, though they were not embraced by the Australian art market until later decades.

Mawalan’s paintings, while characteristic of barks emanating from Yirrkala from the 1960’s to 1980’s in their narrative mode of representing myth, are specifically revered for their conceptual grandeur. The Seagull 1962 is characteristic of his style in using symbolic figurative imagery grouped into compositions surrounded by formal designs associated with the Rirratjingu. In keeping with other Arnhem land art of the period, meaning is developed through intricate symbolism which accommodates both a secular and deeper, spiritual dimension. Malawan was very committed, convinced with other spiritual leaders who also painted large collaborative works of the most sacred stories at the time, that their most important sites were under threat from bauxite mining. Another ethnographic theme in his work was the depiction of the relations between Maccasan traders and Aboriginal people of Arnhem Land as early as the 17th Century.

Due to his historical and artistic prominence Mawalan is one of the most revered and widely represented artists in galleries and museums in Australia and overseas. His work still forms the centrepiece of the Art Gallery of NSW Indigenous collection and he is the subject of considerable literature, including a documentary film In memory of Mawalan 1981.

MARKET ANALYSIS

Along with Munggarawuy Yunupingu, Wandjuk Marika and a small band of others, Mawalan Marika was a profoundly influential early artist in North East Arnhem Land during his lifetime due to his commitment to educating Westerners whose actions impacted on Yolngu existence at the time. His career parallels that of renowned Western Arnhem Land artist, Yirawala. Both created masterpieces for more than 20 years during a period when Aboriginal art was considered principally as ethnographic.

While only less than 100 of his paintings have been offered for sale at auction compared to more than 154 by Yirawala, Mawalan’s success rate is higher than Yirawala, even after dropping from 80% in 2006 to its current 69%. However, only ten paintings have achieved prices above $20,000 including Sacred Waterhole 1963-4 that exceeded estimates to become the artist’s eigth highest result to date when sold by Joel Fine Art in June 2008 (Lot 18). Prior to 2009 his record, the $42,800 set by Sotheby’s in June 2005, was held by The Seagull, painted in 1962 and collected by Dr Stuart Scougall (Lot 69). The painting had been exhibited in New York, at the Qantas Gallery, in 1963. In the same sale The Milky Way a later work, illustrated in Lewis Allan’s classic book Time Before Morning and John Rudder’s 1999 book An introduction to Arnhem Land Bark Paintings, achieved $26,350 currently the artist’s sixth highest result. The interest in these works at Sotheby’s in 2005 was indicative of the strong interest in Mawalan’s best provenanced and most complex works given that few of this quality had appeared since 1999 when Warrana c.1960 was offered with an estimate of just $15,000-25,000 but sold for $34,500 to the Kerry Stokes collection. In 2009 a new record was set for The Milky Way when it sold for $43,200 at Sotheby’s in July (Lot. 30). The painting was similar to another, of the same name, which sold four years earlier for $26,350. The jump in price was a good indication of the escalating value of Mawalan’s finest works and a more general reappraisal for high quality early barks.

While high prices have been achieved for those paintings depicting complex narratives, others with simpler, more static imagery do not fare half as well. This is sharply illustrated by the fact that a wonderfully complex painting Maruma-Story of a Burial c.1960, which had sold for as little as $6,900 at Sotheby’s in 1997, achieved a sale price of $18,000 just four years later in 2001, while simple works like Djanda (Goanna) c.1960 and Daymirri (The Whale) c.1964 sold for as little as $4,800 and $4,600 respectively in 2003.

Sotheby’s have taken up all of the running with Mawalan’s works, establishing all of the artists highest results until 2008, when Joel Fine Art managed to insert one painting in the artist’s top ten and 2009 when Deutscher and Hackett gained a fourth place sale. As the number of Mawalan Marika’s finest works in private hands are rare or un-attributed by their current owners, on those rare occasions when they  are recognised by appraisers and appear at auction, they are likely to defy any downward market trends. As major pieces appear, his ten highest records will tumble and his average prices will rise considerably.

MARKET PERFORMANCE

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
0.3102 0.6185 0.2517 0.5560 0.0490 0.5368 0.1151 0.5402 0.1502 0.4922 0.1494 0.4214 0.0849 0.0633 0.1916 0.1068 0.0000 0.0442 0.0000 0.4402
3/3 6/8 3/4 7/7 1/4 4/5 2/4 6/9 1/3 3/5 2/5 5/6 1/2 2/3 5/7 1/3 0/0 1/1 0/1 2/2
$10,695 $10,627 $7,040 $6,309 $2,400 $18,008 $3,311 $8,107 $22,570 $26,920 $5,580 $7,104 $7,200 $1,003 $1,469 $11,400 $0 $1,952 $0 $48,448
Yearly Market Performance Graph from 2000 -

top 10 Historical artwork sales

1

The Seagull

auction: Sotheby's New York lot: 2 date: 13/12/2019
159 x 55 cm Natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark

$81,501.00
2

Sydney, c.1962

auction: Deutscher and Hackett Melbourne lot: 20 date: 17/03/2021
121 x 27 cm (irregul Natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark

$45,409.00
3

The Milky Way

auction: Sotheby's Australia Pty. Ltd. Melbourne lot: 30 date: 20/07/2009
177.5 x 63.5 cm Natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark

$43,200.00
4

The Seagull 1962

auction: Sotheby's Australia Pty. Ltd. Melbourne lot: 69 date: 25/07/2005
159 x 55 cm Natural earth pigment on eucalyptus bark

$42,800.00
5

Warrana c. 1960

auction: Sotheby's Australia Pty. Ltd. Melbourne lot: 21 date: 28/06/1999
54.5 x 118.5 cm Natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark

$34,500.00
6

Djan'kawu at Yalangbara, c. 1961

auction: Deutscher and Hackett Melbourne lot: 33 date: 14/10/2009
117 x 44.5 cm Natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark

$33,600.00
7

Untitled c. 1957

auction: Sotheby's Australia Pty. Ltd. Melbourne lot: 33 date: 09/07/2001
104 x 51 cm Natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark

$28,800.00
8

The Milky Way 1964

auction: Sotheby's Australia Pty. Ltd. Melbourne lot: 68 date: 25/07/2005
136.5 x 48 cm Natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark

$26,350.00
9

Nativity Scene

auction: Sotheby's Australia Pty. Ltd. Sydney lot: 92 date: 25/11/2007
109.5 x 33.8 cm Natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark

$25,200.00
10

Sacred Water Hole c. 1963-64

auction: Joel Fine Art Melbourne lot: 18 date: 03/06/2008
124.5 x 52 cm Natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark

$22,570.00
REDFERN GALLERY

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Cooee Art foremost acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, as the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded land and waters on which we work and reside.

ABORIGINAL FINE ART GALLERY, PURCHASE AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART, CONTEMPORARY AND ABORIGINAL ART FOR SALE – SYDNEY

Price and availability are subject to change at the gallery’s discretion. While we try to ensure the accuracy of all data across the website, Cooee Art reserves the right to cancel a sale due to price change.

The artist holds the copyright for all images throughout the website and must not be reused or reproduced in any way without explicit permission.

© COOEE ART 1981 – 2021

Cooee Art foremost acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, as the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded land and waters on which we work and reside.

ABORIGINAL FINE ART GALLERY, PURCHASE AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART, CONTEMPORARY AND ABORIGINAL ART FOR SALE – SYDNEY

Price and availability are subject to change at the gallery’s discretion. While we try to ensure the accuracy of all data across the website, Cooee Art reserves the right to cancel a sale due to price change.

The artist holds the copyright for all images throughout the website and must not be reused or reproduced in any way without explicit permission.

© COOEE ART 1981 – 2021