Menzies continues its foray into international art for auction
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 23rd June, 2015
In the latest development of its concerted move to introduce major international art works to the Australian market, Menzies has three highly significant works by famous international artists as the centrepiece of its forthcoming Thursday June 25 auction from 6.30pm at 1 Darling Street, South Yarra.
These are American Andy Warhol’s Head After Picasso (lot 39), French expatriate Fernand Léger’s China Town (lot 40) and British sculptor Lynn Chadwick’s Maquette II Jubilee III 1984 (lot 32).
While Picasso was the dominant artist of the first half of the 20th century, Warhol is now confirmed as the biggest name of the second.
From his beginnings around 1960 in New York, Warhol never ceased to probe, explore and lead developments in contemporary art.
Head After Picasso unites both artists in a remarkable way at a time when America was asserting itself on the international scene and Warhol, at the height of his fame, was one of its most important painters.
Painted in 1943 while Léger (with Picasso and Braque one of the three great Cubists) lived in New York during the German occupation of France, China Town was produced at a time when the world centre of contemporary art transferred from Paris to the Big Apple – ending more than 150 years of French superiority in art.
Chadwick (who died in 2003) has emerged from comparative obscurity to become a major re-discovery in the international art market.
His sculptures grew from the dour years of post-war Britain. Not withstanding his early success (during the 1950s he represented Britain twice at the Venice Biennale), Chadwick’s career was overshadowed by the more fashionable Pop artists and new developments first in America and later in Europe.
Menzies Head of Art Tim Abdallah believes the Warhol’s and Léger’s works could each fetch as much as $1.6 million, ranking them among the most valuable works of art ever offered at an Australian auction.