Saturday, November 24, 2012

The RBS collection at Shapiro - 24 November

So the ongoing shake out in the financial industry has also claimed a corporate collection (and art prize). The former ABN Amro emerging art prize (which was renamed after the Royal Bank of Scotland following a takeover) is no more after RBS sold of most of its Aussie operations to the Malaysian CIMB.  Now Shapiro is selling off their art this Monday night ...

Usually I would tell you to follow the advice of collector Valeria Napoleone, whose quote in the March 2011 issue of Monocle has stuck in my head ... "I don't go to auctions because I don't buy secondhand; I buy directly from the galleries or the artists".  I also prefer to support the artist by buying in the primary market but this would be a great opportunity to pick up some fairly well provenanced works so I am sure there will be solid interest (I am sure it will be closely watched by the auction crowd as there isn't really a secondary market for emerging artists here in contrast to say Philips de Pury in NY).  There was also a pretty decent article on it in the AFR to stir the punters to action.  The RBS collection runs from lot 61 to lot 94 and there were quite a few familiar names, Ah Xian, Michael Zavros, Petrina Hicks etc.  My top pick was definitely Lionel Bawden.  His 'Striated Landscape - Sunset 2004' (pictured top) won him the Emerging Artist Award in 2004.  Here it is estimated for $10-15k.  I just loved how Shapiro has it in a glass box so you can see all around it (and even under it, where you more clearly see the staedtler pencils he uses in these creations).  I don't think there is a lot of this out there so reckon it might do well (if I had the spare cash I think I would break Ms. Napoleone's rules).  Also great was Dane Lovett whose 'Twelve Years' (pictured below) won him the prize in 2010.  I quite like the idea of obsolete technology that he explores, more so because videotapes feature prominently in one of my favourite movies, the investment banking how to - american pyscho!  There was quite a lot of photography, Narelle Autio's Splash won it in 2005, Petrina Hicks' Lambswool won it in 2008 and Helen Pynor's Milk won it in 2009. It will be interesting to see how this prize winning work sells.  I will post back what everything sells for after the auction.

Points:  3 to Lionel.  Great work, and interesting to see how the scale of this piece predates his massive Wynne prize winner later in his career.  This one is also easier to fit in a home situation as well.  2 to Dane Lovett, surprised about the estimate here ($2-3k) given what his newer work sells for in the galleries.  1 to Fiona Lowry.  Nice piece and huge, so pretty good value for money (at an estimate of $4-6k).  Overall it was a pretty decent collection of work, and kind of instructive for those who are also collecting.  Maybe now there is an opening for the Big Lamington Art Prize ...

POST SCRIPT:  Wow.  A solid outing for emerging art.  Those estimates turned out a little conservative ...
Dane Lovett sells for $7,150
Fiona Lowry sells for $11,050 and
Lional Bawden sells for $20,150.

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