Mossgreen art auction features works from several eras

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 29th April, 2016

Mossgreen’s head of Australian art Frances Lindsay highlights the opening lot – John Brack’s Cold Figure 1960 – as an example of the quality of the sale in the lead up to the company’s two-day fine Australian and International Art auction from 6.30pm on Monday May 2 at 926-930 High Street, Armadale.

“The painting has all the characteristics that make Brack a wonderful artist including his ability to capture the essence of humanity,” she said.

In this work, he depicts a thin woman dressed in several layers of jumpers with a scarf snugly encircling her neck.

Her blue-tinged face and hands project winter’s reality in an era when heating in suburban houses was limited.

The painting was completed at a time when Brack was exploring several new approaches with increased texture as seen in the exaggerated poses of the Wedding series (1960-61).

This auction is following the new evening-day format introduced in April by Mossgreen with the first 47 lots up for grabs on Monday night and the reminder to go under the hammer from 2.30pm Tuesday.

Other highlights in the first part of the sale include two paintings by colonial artist Haughton Forrest (1826-1925) – A Welsh Lake and Fishing in the Lake Country.

These two peaceful scenes by the Captain Forrest, who was part of a small group of mature English artists (including John Glover) who settled permanently in Tasmania, are in stark contrast to two of his turbulent maritime paintings – Wreck of St Ann’s Head and Boxham Fishing Boats Working out of Torbay – featured on the second day of the auction.

Auction goers also should be impressed by late French impressionist Henri Martin’s painting Devant de Porte, en Eté c1910.

“A humble subject, the vines and dapple light portrayed in the work make it very appealing,” Frances Lindsay said.

Lindsay lauds creations by contemporary artists – including Sally Smart, Bill Henson, John Kelly, Robert Hunter and Patricia Piccinini – and is pleased their works are now appearing on the secondary market.

Of particular note is Kelly’s Dead Horse in the Slade Lift 1997, a commentary on the deconstruction of Australian racing icon Phar Lap whose heart is in Canberra, skeleton in New Zealand and hide in Melbourne.

Works of interest by 19th century artists include Charles Condor’s watercolour on silk L”Aristocrat & Au Bord de la Seine and Victorian Surveyor General Robert Hoddle’s Landscape, Southern New South Wales.

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