Australian artist own estate painting an auction highlight

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 15th March, 2018

A painting by Australian artist the late Robert Jacks obtained directly from his estate and featured on the catalogue cover is one of the highlights of Leonard Joel’s first fine art auction for 2018 – from 6.30pm Tuesday March 20 at 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra.

Entitled Aztec Logo 1987, the oil on linen painting is signed by the artist and is a great example of his work.

In Ken McGregor & Robert Jacks: Past Unfolded, during conversation between the artist and author between November 1998 and August 2000, he says:

“I think my work has always been minimal and abstract because when I was being taught in sculpture, it was expressed in abstract terms. Form in space, mass and volume – that sort of thing. Painting for me, is an extension of sculptural ideas.”

Born in 1943 in Melbourne, Jacks studied sculpture from 1958 to 1960 at Prahran Technical College and painting the following two years at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (now RMIT University).

In 1966, he held his first solo exhibition, from which a work was purchased for the National Gallery of Victoria, and two years later participated the gallery’s extremely influential ‘The Field’ exhibition, which effectively launched colour field abstraction in Australia.

Jacks, who died in 2014, won many awards and prizes and held more than 50 solo exhibitions and retrospectives.

In 2001, the Bendigo Art Gallery established the Robert Jacks Drawing Prize and five years later he was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Other auction highlights include a collection of works by Peter Booth, which was exhibited in New York and other parts of the United States by CDS Gallery and several paintings from Septimus Power (1878-1951), mainly from the one vendor.

A watercolour and ink on paper Drawing (Landscape with Moon) 1987 is probably the pick of the Booth paintings – while the Septimus Power oil on canvas in an original John Thallon frame, featuring Judith, Ralph and David Wilson on Horseback by Sea 1945 and commissioned by the family, is one of his great examples.

Another is Power’s classic Horses oil on canvas, signed lower right, featuring Clydesdale horses in an iconic Australian setting.

Other paintings of note include David Larwell’s Clowns 2006, Hugh Sawrey’s Plant Horse by Condamine River, Queensland, Fred Williams’ English Landscape c1954, Geoffrey Dyer’s Red Abstract and Colombian Maria Fernanda Cardoso’s Woven Water, Submarine, Landscape 2003.

A major attraction and carrying the highest auction estimate of $30,000-$50,000 is Vittorio Reggianini’s (1858-1938) oil on canvas Goodnight. The artist was famous for his portraits and interior scenes of English upper middle class people and homes.


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