• ARTISTS

          Cooee Art has built long-term relationships with Aboriginal and First Nations artists and their not for profit art centres since 1981.

          Our gallery team travels regularly to remote areas of Australia to meet with artists and develop our exhibition program.

        • Auction Artists

          Cooee Art Auctions works with artists bi-annually across two separate departments – Indigenous Fine Art and Modern & Contemporary Fine Art.

          Read through the profiles and market analysis for the top 200 Indigenous artists

        • SHOP ARTWORKS

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

          Our gallery team travels regularly to remote areas of Australia to meet with artists to consign artworks.

        • New Arrivals

          Cooee Art gallery artworks arrive in our online shop and our gallery spaces weekly.

          Shop new arrivals that coincide with our monthly exhibition program.

        • All Artworks

          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.

        • Current

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

        • Future

          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. 

        • Indigenous Fine Art

          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.

        • Current Indigenous Art Market

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

        • Consultancy

          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.

        • Valuations

          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

How to Collect Aboriginal Art

HOW TO COLLECT ABORIGINAL ART — THE ART MARKET – NEW ART VS OLD ART

Posted: 03/22/2021
By:nodadev

NEW ART – THE PRIMARY MARKET

The primary sector of the art market is where newly created works are generally consigned by artists to a gallery or dealer who exhibits them. The gallery acts as an agent, and is remunerated through a commission on sales. It generally bears the cost of the exhibition and sets the prices, taking into account the size and medium of the works and the reputation of the artist.  As it is uncommon for artists to have a ‘sell out’ show, works are generally held in the stock room and are available for sale after the exhibition while the dealer continues to attract customers, arrange commissions, enter works in art prizes, create publicity, and publish material promoting the artist. Having this sort of association with the dealer allows the artist to concentrate on their art production and this specialisation is ideally of benefit to both parties.  Not all artists generate enough income to compensate dealers for the costs of conducting exhibitions, but galleries generally cross subsidise less successful artists with income derived from those whose works underpin the gallery’s financial viability. Formal contracts are far more common amongst non-Indigenous artists and their dealers than has been the case with Aboriginal artists. Even community art centres have argued strongly against exclusive contracts with artists whose lack of literacy and numeracy skills place them at a disadvantage in negotiations unless an educated local language speaker is present to assist in the process. Nevertheless, those galleries that have become signatories to the newly introduced Art Industry Code of Conduct have agreed to use standard contracts when working directly with Indigenous artists in order to demonstrate transparency and equity in their dealings.

 

Daisy Chains – Jacob Stengle
182.0 x 152.0 cm

 

Contracts are only useful if they describe the role and responsibilities of each party toward each other. Most agents, whether community based or independent, have been extremely reluctant to subject Indigenous artists to punitive clauses that could lead to litigation, given the constant need  for money to support families living in remote communities. However, whether under contract to a dealer or not, successful artists, both black and white, are liable to receive offers to move to other galleries and the majority of dealer rivalry arises from often emotive accusations of ‘poaching’. Most galleries eventually jettison unsuccessful artists and these eventually drop out of the artist-gallery system, while the galleries take on a mix of new younger, and already established artists that they are able to win over from others.

As eminent economist Dr. Jon Stanton has observed,

The abiding characteristic of the primary market is the general level of excess demand; there are more paintings for sale than there are willing purchasers. There are more artists than the number that can be represented by galleries; galleries exhibit more paintings than anyone is willing to buy, and galleries operate at lower than normal profit levels.’[1]

The final point here is worth considering. Commercial galleries generally operate on between 30 and 50% commission for primary market sales. This figure is considerably lower than for many products sold through retail stores, especially those that are vertically integrated. (That is they manufacture their own products, mark them up to wholesale and then mark them up again to retail. This is how they can offer up to 80% off sales at the end of each season.)

Due to their low commission structure and an oversupply of art, there is a high turnover of artists and galleries. While established galleries seek ‘marquee’ artists who can ensure their financial viability and underpin their elite reputation, the vast majority of galleries and dealers struggle to win the hearts and pockets of collectors, who are drawn from a variety of walks of life. While they have an interest in visual art, most of these ‘collectors’ are not wealthy and will visit galleries many times to seek advice and develop their passion. Only very occasionally do they ever actually purchase an artwork.  Those galleries that screen artists, and thereby reduce their client’s search and transaction costs, immeasurably aid collectors, in particular those who seek new and innovative works of art. Galleries differ and the styles of work and particular artists they show. They attract collectors who share their taste and value their aesthetic ‘eye’ and critical judgement, as well as their business acumen.

Today, however, there is a new competitor on the scene that is challenging the conventional ‘brick and mortar’ gallery system: Online sales. Make no mistake. This can be a game changer, and an enormous boon to art buyers. But it is a trap for the unwary and foolhardy.

The rules of engagement still apply, whether you buy directly off the wall of an art gallery or over the web.

[1] Dr. Jon Stanford FSIA, Submission to the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Discussion of the Proposed Resale Royalty Arrangement’2004

 

OLD ART – THE SECONDARY MARKET

 

Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming – Gloria Tamerre Petyarre
300.0 x 200.0 cm

 

An artwork, having been originally purchased in the primary market, may remain in a private or public collection for a year or a decade; It may even remain in a single family for generations.

Having sold art for nearly 40 years, many of my clients were in their 30s, 40s and 50s when they first bought a work from me. As their life circumstances change and age catches up with them, they inevitably look to sell them in the secondary market. Their artwork may have been created by a highly collectable deceased or living artist, or one who has disappeared into obscurity. Whatever the case, they will look for a dealer, auction house, or online platform to help them find a new home for their pre-loved collectable.

There are many dealers who specialise in the work of deceased or highly collectable artists, whose works are sourced from existing collections. Premature offerings in the secondary market can easily destroy a living artist’s primary market performance if seen to be unsuccessful, or the price paid falls below current market expectations. For this reason artists, galleries, and agents occasionally seek to manipulate secondary sales in order to ensure that works created by artists they represent are ‘supported’. They may even introduce an artist’s work themselves in order to establish a secondary market profile as part of a strategy to underpin, or even boost, their primary market standing.

In Australia there are a number of successful secondary market dealers, many of whom make no bones about the fact that they purchase a significant proportion of their stock at auction. The former major dealer Dennis SavillPhillip BaconRob Gould, and a number of others who have been highly visible, as well as a large number of independent dealers and art consultants, place works into and purchase works from the major auction houses. A number of smaller auction houses purchase from the larger ones, as it is more cost effective to pay the buyers premium on the open market than employ a permanent team of art specialists to find the works for them. These smaller auction houses stage sales in regional areas beyond the reach and focus of the major players. In recent years most art auction houses have developed online facilities.It is now possible to bid online in real time as the auction is taking place halfway around the world. New online art auction platforms can operate exclusively online, function live as well as digitally, or aggregate and provide access to dozens of auctions with online bidding.

In auctions it is commonly said that 80% of the value is in 20% of the works. Most auction houses make their money by charging both the buyer and the seller.  They charge the buyer a premium, currently between 20% and 25% on top of their winning bid (the hammer price of artwork). Depending on the rarity and desirability of an artwork, auction houses are generally prepared to lower their seller’s (vendor’s) commission, which can vary from as much as 20% on works worth less than $5,000 to 5% on works worth more than $100,000. In the case of some extremely rare and highly desirable pieces, auction houses will even consign them at 0%. However, while the sellers commission is always a matter of negotiation, the 20-25% ‘buyer’s premium’ is inviolable! Auction houses would never sacrifice a penny of it, as it represents the greater part of their income.

An Australian ‘Tier One’ auction house will offer between 80 and 250 individual works of art worth a total of anything from $500,000 to $10 million in one single evening. In an attempt to attract fashionable and well-heeled audiences, and to achieve between 70 and 90% clearance (success) rates, the major auction houses produce full colour catalogues with the highest production values. They have just one shot at selling, after months of hard work. However, when run professionally auctions are, without a doubt, the most successful way of selling quality art.

In the words of the mercurial Rod Menzies, proprietor of Menzies Art Brands.

‘There’s nothing as successful in the world of sales as Going…Going… Gone!’

More on buying and selling through auctions later on.

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THE DEALER IS THE DEVIL

AN INSIDER’S HISTORY OF THE ABORIGINAL ART TRADE by Adrian Newstead OAM

REDFERN GALLERY

17 Thurlow Street,
Redfern, NSW, 2016

p. +61 (02) 9300 9233
Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 10am till 5pm

BONDI BEACH GALLERY

31 Lamrock Avenue
Bondi Beach, NSW 2026

p. +61 (02) 9300 9233
Opening Hours:
Open by appointment

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