Brett Whiteley prominent in Menzies auction
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 19th September, 2016
Menzies Art Brands will auction some of Australian iconic artist Brett Whiteley’s best works over two nights from 6.30pm Wednesday September 21 and Thursday September 22 at 1 Darling Street, South Yarra as part of two-pronged sale offering 289 works with a low estimate of $8.3 million.
The auction comprises 129 lots in its Australian & International Fine Art & Sculpture sale from various vendors and on the second night involves the dispersal of the Stock-in-Trade of Savill Galleries.
Owned and run by Australian art heavyweight Dennis Savill, since the 1980s Savill Galleries has been arguably Australia’s most revered commercial art institution.
In total, 15 examples of Whiteley’s work will be offered in this auction – reinforcing Menzies reputation as a leading seller of the artist’s work.
The most impressive examples (considered the equal of anything in his oeuvre) are The Sunrise, Japanese: Good Morning! 1988 (lot 36) and Gauguin 1968 (lot 37).
Other examples worth noting include the archetypal works on paper with strong exhibition histories Pelican Dripping Water 1988 (lot 10) and Black Swan c1988 (lot 11).
Arthur Boyd is another top Australian artist to feature prominently in the sale.
The emotionally charged Sunset Cave c1976 (lot 229) adorns the Night 2 catalogue cover and examples of Boyd’s work from the 1940s to the 1970s are scattered throughout the Savill collection.
The Night One sale is a fitting entrée to the Boyd treasure trove with three important examples of his work up for auction.
Large Kneeling Figure with Canvas and Black Can 1973 (lot 38) is an intensely personal comment on the vagaries of the commercial art world that Boyd created at his family’s English Suffolk property during his time in the United Kingdom.
The painting carries family provenance, has not previously been offered for sale and is closely related to a work of the same title that resides in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.
Contemporary artists Rick Amor and Tim Storrier are represented in this auction with the respective bronze sculptures Figure in a Landscape 2007 (lot 32) and The Histrionic Wayfarer (After Bosch) (lot 31) – a larger than life bronze incarnation of Storrier’s 2012 Archibald Prize winning painting of the same name.
Other contemporary artists in the sale include Garry Shead, Tim Maguire, John Olsen, Cressida Campbell, David Larwell, Noel McKenna, Patricia Piccinini, Lisa Roet, Brent Harris, McLean Edwards, Phillip Hunter, Ildikoi Kovacs and Imant Tillers.