All eyes will be on the big-ticket items at the Webb’s auction next Tuesday. At Art + Object last night most of the good, middle range works managed to achieve or get close to their low estimates, although an exception that had the room applauding was Ralph Hotere’s elegant Yellow on White which was hammered down for $16,500 above its high estimate. The five works that were low estimated for $100,000 or more (Hanley, Hammond, Walters, Hotere) stumbled at the finish line, most getting hammered down for $20-$30,000 less than their low estimates (the Gasgoigne just snuck in).
Is this finally the retraction that seems to have hit everything in New Zealand apart from the art market? Next week at Webb's will tell the tale with Fomison, Hammond, Goldie, Cotton and Hotere carrying low estimates that range from $120,000 to $230,000. Last night’s showing suggests the climb to the top will be a struggle.