Monday, July 06, 2015

The returning

The new Bowerbank Ninow Gallery (set to open late November on K-Road) is promising a return to artists on the hammer price of works it sells at auction. Back in 2007 the attempt to legislate a return to artists on resales fell over in New Zealand after some forceful lobbying from dealer galleries. EU countries (including the UK) have had schemes in place since 2006 and Australia introduced its own version in 2010 covering works selling for more than $1,000. The proposal in NZ was for artists to have an inalienable right to 5% royalties on all resales. Now, according to Louisa Gommans in the Law Society's LawTalk, the debate is back. The issues are pretty much as you'd expect (an administrative nightmare, pressure on high value works, chiseled profit margins) but Bowerbank Ninow are diving in anyway. Their recent press release makes it unclear as to whether they intend this scheme to cover other secondary sales they undertake as well but presumably it will. As it stands, a work hammered down on the night by Bowerbank Ninow for $20,000 would return $450 to the artist.