Buyers showed their willingness to pay for the privilege of owning quality Australian paintings when Deutscher and Hackett closed its timed online auction of contemporary, Aboriginal and modern works in Melbourne on May 17.
Although these were not the most expensive works for many these well-known Australian artists, nevertheless bidding was brisk as buyers tussled to obtain a favourite painting.
A perennial favourite Ray Crooke took top billing with his Island Women with Fruit Baskets, c1970s (lot 33) with a hammer price of $40,000 against a catalogue estimate of $25,000-$35,000, while Robert Dickerson’s Pagliacci (lot 34) occupied second place on $20,000.
Patricia Piccinini and Michael Zavros shared third place with a $15,000 return with their respective rather intriguing works Tropical, 2001 (lot 22) and Walk, 2001 (lot 6).
The fascinating Paul Davies painting Seidler House and Pool, 2010 (lot 21) – a tribute to the well-known Australian architect the late Harry Seidler – brought $14,000, the same hammer price as buyers paid for Reko Rennie’s Untitled (Blue)(lot 1) and Dorothy Braund’s Artist’s Book of One Hundred and Five Works, March-May 1991 (lot 55).
Leonard French’s Journey of the Bull, 2000-01 (lot 28) was another work to finish within its estimate range of $12,000-$16,000 at a $12,000 hammer price – the same price as Brent Harris’s Appalling Moment (Wig with Moe), 1996 (lot 4).
Other good results included Sidney Nolan’s Prometheus Unbound (lot 31), Ralph Balson’s Untitled, 1951 (lot 29) and Yvonne Audette’s Space for Fishing, 1967 (lot 30) – each of which was knocked down for $11,000.