In 2011, Leonard Joel held their first dedicated Prints and Multiples auction. Intended as a boutique offering, it has rapidly and consistently grown into one of our most popular auctions seeing 8x growth across the last decade.
Contemporary Prints and Multiples are quickly moving to the forefront of every collector’s wishlist.
Del Kathryn Barton dominates the market but with an extensive waitlist for her original paintings she is not broadly accessible. Her prints on the secondary market have become a terrific way to acquire one of her creations. That’s When I Was Another Tree 3 2007 in our July Prints and Multiples auction achieved a considerable result of $8,750, an example of the recent growth for contemporary editions.
Our recent sales have also seen the work of Brent Harris become increasingly prevalent. The Australian Art Sales Digest lists 65 prints by the artist on record at auction ever, with 50% of these appearing in the last 5 years alone, and 70% appearing in Leonard Joel’s Prints and Multiples auctions. We have steadily seen Harris’ hauntingly brooding gestures in the form of etchings and screenprints become top of mind for a diverse range of collectors, many only discovering the artist recently. A personal favourite of mine was On Becoming (Yellow) (No. 1) 1998, sold in March 2021 for $3,750. It incorporates those fluid yet bold lines that Harris is best known for.
We couldn’t comment on the rising trends of Contemporary Art in the Prints and Multiples space without mentioning the rise of Street Art. It is the mysterious Banksy that takes the cake for the biggest auction results for a street artist. Not only did his shredding stunt of Girl With Balloon make
global headlines at Sotheby’s London in 2018, but again
recently when it was resold making close to 20 times its
“pre-shredded” price. One lucky Australian vendor experienced the glory of Banksy’s hype first-hand, originally purchasing Jack and Jill (Police Kids) in 2013 for $2,600, to then sell in our July sale at $112,500 to another local collector.
This past year has seen the rise and rise of quality editions in the marketplace, and a new focus on Contemporary Art. The acquisition of limited edition prints is no longer just for the connoisseur collector, but a key focus for newer collectors and especially those with an interest in Contemporary Art. With this shift in collecting amongst Australian art buyers, it is no surprise that the prices achieved have also increased and new genres have become dominant.
HANNAH RYAN / Art Specialist
Banner Image: BRENT HARRIS (born 1956) To the Forest 1999, screenprint ed. P/P, 91 x 152cm. Sold for $6,250