'Important art' gets new auction format

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 15th November, 2017

Mossgreen has launched a brand new auction format to handle, promote and sell top-end art works by Australian and international artists.

Held twice a year, they will present auction goers with a finely curated selection of rare and collectable paintings and sculptures.

The first of these ‘Important Art’ sales will be from 6.30pm Monday November 20 at 926-930 High Street, Armadale.

In the catalogue introduction, Mossgreen art specialist Petrit Abazi emphasises the works selected must meet three main criteria.

“Firstly, the works are fresh to the auction market,” he says.

“Secondly, they are accompanied by esteemed or documented provenance and, finally, are remarkable for their intrinsic quality, rarity and significance within the oeuvre of any given artist.”

To celebrate the inaugural ‘Important Art’ auction, Mossgreen has used a larger format catalogue, enabling works to be illustrated with greater impact and in finer detail than before.

With the increased space comes in-depth research that highlights each lot’s provenance, exhibition and literature history.

Combined with explanatory essays, which uncover, describe and contextualise the works on offer, the new format ensures each is given the academic gravita it deserves.

One of the auction highlights is Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s masterpiece Wild Flowers: Dry Season (1995).

Painted and exhibited in the same year as the record breaking Earth Creations, which sold for $1.05 million, the painting has been in the Wood Nook Farm collection since it was last exhibited in 1998.

Rover Thomas’s Tumbi 1989 is another exquisitely rare work up for grabs and part of a small batch of ‘owl’ images Thomas executed in his lifetime.

Arthur Streeton’s Wollstonecraft – a striking view of one of his favourite subjects, Sydney Harbour, and made even more iconic by his artistic efforts – is one of only 12 pictures painted during the artist’s brief homecoming in 1914.

The panel comes with a line of prestigious provenance and is being sold for the first time in almost 30 years.

Another significant highlight is the rediscovered portrait of Agnes Mathie Scott – attributed to German colonial artist Ludwig Becker.

Only seven examples of the artist’s work have ever come to auction, with the majority of his paintings kept in state and national institutions.

Part two of John and Margaret Hooper’s collection is being sold at this auction and includes fine paintings by Penleigh Boyd, Elioth Gruner, Hans Heysen, Norman Lindsay and Brett Whiteley.

Other notable catalogue works include a selection by Charles Blackman such as The Sisters (1953), an early Schoolgirls series, and two still life works of flowers never before offered at auction.

Another painting making its auction debut is Bath Time, 1929 by one of Australia’s greatest modern masters Weaver Hawkins, featuring an early family portrait of his wife and son. 

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