Australian 'instafamous' social media artist has auction debut

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 23rd November, 2021

Contemporary Australian 'instafamous' artist Catherine Jenna Hendry (CJ Hendry), 33, will make her Australian auction debut at Menzies Wednesday December 1 Important and international Art sale from 6.30pm at the company's Sydney gallery at 12 Todman Avenue, Kensington. 

Born in South Africa but raised in Brisbane, where she studied architecture and finance before pursuing an art career, Hendry is known for her hyper-realistic, large-scale renderings of luxury objects using a self-developed scribbling technique that sometimes take 200 hours to complete.

Hendry has a massive social media following with almost 600,000 Instagram followers, greater than many of her artistic peers.

The auction work (lot 17) features two of Hendry’s photorealistic pencil drawings as a single lot, Red Paint Swatch (Small) and Blue Paint Swatch (Small) that were created as part of the artist’s collaboration with luxury designer Christian Louboutin and exhibited in 2017 at Art Basel Hong Kong.

Menzies catalogue cover lot is Arthur Streeton’s (1867-1943) Pale and Blue Gold 1933 (lot 24), a view of Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges painted near his property “Longacres” at Olinda, with a $180,000-$250,000 estimate.

Originally purchased in the 1930s by Alfred Barsley and has remained in the family’s collection ever since. With its offering at auction, the painting now joins those other works from the important 1933 Streeton retrospective exhibition in the public domain.

There are works by several famous Australian Edwardian painters including George Lambert’s (1873-1930) portrait of his son Constant entitled The Blue-Coat Boy 1918 (lot 7), Rupert Bunny’s (1864-1947) On the Landing c1913 (lot 23) and Ethel Carrick’s (1872-1952) Concert in the Luxembourg Gardens 1909 (lot 22).

The Blue Coat Boy was part of the Lambert Memorial Exhibition held in November in Sydney shortly after the artist’s death in 1930.

Rupert Bunny uses one of his favourite settings for figurative composition, the balcony, in On the Landing and between 1907 and 1910 created 21 nocturnal figure paintings of women on balconies.

Concert in the Luxembourg Gardens demonstrates Carrick’s proclivity for capturing city life – in this case seated figures enjoying an open air concert.

Famous Australian still life painter Margaret Olley (1923-2011) has three works in the auction including Patricia with Fruit and Flowers 1965 (lot 20).

The painting originates from a critically acclaimed series depicting residents of a hostel for indigenous women in south Brisbane near the artist’s family home.

Patricia is shown in a moment of quiet and dignified contemplation alongside an abundance of citrus and flowers. The work was prominently featured in Olley’s 2019 retrospective exhibition A Generous Life at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art.

Other modern auction highlights include John Olsen’s Self-Portrait in a Dog Landscape 1993 (lot 27) – a work that pays homage to activity, ritual and movement within the landscape.

Included in the sale is a varied selection of Australian sculpture by such well-known artists as Robert Klippel (1920-2001), Inge King, Oliffe Richmond (1919-1977), Peter D. Cole and Ron Robertson-Swann.

In addition to her quirky wooden construction Bird Sanctuary 1975, Rosalie Gascoyne is well represented with two wall-mounted assemblages Good News 1997 (lot 40) and Siesta 1997 (lot 41).

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