So much art from which to choose at Australian October auctions

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 11th October, 2022

Auction goers will be treated to a plethora of Australian and international art choices on Sunday October 16 in Melbourne when Gibson’s Auctions adds its selection of more than 260 paintings to other art auctions on the day.

Gibson’s Auctions will hold its sale from 12pm at 885-889 High Street, Armadale and from lot 1 – well-known Melbourne bohemian artist and restaurant owner the late Mirka Mora’s (1928-2018) The Sisters 1963 – collectors and first time buyers should be absorbed.

This no doubt will set the tone for the rest of the auction which features as its highest estimate work at $50,000-$80,000 the Isobel (Iso) Rae (1860-1940) painting Breton Family (lot 21).

Born in Melbourne, Rae studied from 1877-87 at the National Gallery School with the likes of Tom Roberts, Fred McCubbin and Rupert Bunny before moving to France where she spent time at the Académie Colarossi before moving to the quaint fishing village of Étaples, home to an artist colony.

The village was surrounded by fields tended by Breton in traditional clothes and provided wholesome subject matter for many artists including Rae.

Charles Blackman’s (1928-2018) The Unicorn Triptych 1994 (lot 29) is another interesting work with a $50,000-$70,000 estimate.

Just as fascinating is Mora’s Crucifixion 1976 (lot 30) which shows the religious influence their neighbour Paulette’s stepmother Nouzette had on Mirka as a child.

Mirka’s family were struggling French Jews living in Paris during the 1930s and, as an act of charitable governance, Paulette would look after the young four-year-old on weekends and holidays.

A devout Christian, Nouzette would watch over Mirka in her large country home when Paulette had to work and secretly teach her prayers and take her to church which left a lasting impression on the young girl.

The auction includes such notaries as James Gleeson (1915-2008) Nude in Psychoscape (lot 3) and Dionysia 1959 (lot 4), David Boyd (1924-2011) Learning to Swim (lot 5), John Olsen Pelicans Lake Eyre (lot 6) and Pelican Dance 1972 (lot 122) and Dean Bowen Giant Crow (lot 7) .

Pro Hart (1928-2006)  figures prominently with paintings like The Bar (lot 9) and Sheepyard at Night (lot 10) while Dorothy Braund (1926-2013) is another favourite with On The Beach – Three Figures 1997 (lot 8).

There are 10 works by Elizabeth Durack (1915-2000) – lots 11 to 20 – and several works by Ernest Buckmaster (1897-1968) including Summer, Goulburn River (lot 27).

Other famous artists include Joseph Fowles (1810-1878) with his painting of Sir Hercules (lot 28), Charles Blackman (1928-2018) – Queen of Hearts (lot 34) being a good example – Roy de Maistre (1894-1968) St Jean-de-luz 1925 (lot 40) and Septimus Power (1878-1951) Cattle Crossing the River (lot 24).

Contemporary artist McLean Edwards has The Cherry Orchard 2007 at lot 111, which is now in a private Sydney collection, while James R Jackson’s (1882-1975) Drying the Sails, Sydney Harbour (lot 174) is a tribute to our colonial maritime past.

Another significant colonial artist in the sale is Jan Hendrik Scheltema (1861-1941) with a fine work entitled Round Up the Horses (lot 181).

Judy Cassab (1920-2015) rates a guernsey with Bush Forms 1980 (lot 185) while another famous Australian artist Donald Friend (1915-1989) has several entries including Women of Zanzibar (lot 189).

There are several Aboriginal artists featured in the auction including Lorna Fencer Naparrula (c1926-20006) Bush Potato 1999 (lot 157), Minni Pwerle (1922-2006) Untitled (Lot 161) and Nancy Carnegie Wati Kinara (Moon Man Dreaming) 2006 (lot 166).

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