Brett Whiteley painting could reach new artist auction record

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 24th October, 2013

If Rod Menzies has his way and the large and important Brett Whiteley work My Armchair 1976 – painted at a time when he won every major art award in Australia – reaches its bottom estimate of $3 million at Menzies forthcoming sale from 6.30pm on Thursday at 1 Darling Street, South Yarra, it will be a new auction record for the artist.

Such a result would eclipse the record $3.48 million (including buyers premium) paid in 2007 for Whiteley’s The Olgas for Ernest Giles at Deutscher-Menzies Sydney sale.

Now executive chairman of Menzies International, Rod Menzies is doing everything in his power to maximise exposure and interest in his latest fine art sale, including holding the Melbourne preview in his historic Stonington mansion at 336 Glenferrie Road, Malvern from 11am-6pm Thursday until next Wednesday (Sunday from 1pm).

Even in this more conservative 2013 art market, still recovering to some degree from the 2008 global financial crisis, many of the paintings on offer are of Rolls Royce quality.

They include the magnificent Sidney Nolan work Ned Kelly and Mounted Trooper painted in 1964 and carrying an auction estimate of $500,000 to $700,000. It forms part of the third key group of Kelly paintings Nolan began during an extended sojourn back to Australia at the time.

Another is John Brack’s Adagio 1967-69 – his most important and challenging work of the 1960s.

Charles Blackman is represented through Alice in the Cat’s Garden c1969 and Schoolgirl in a Lane c1953 while Norman Lindsay’s Mantilla 1941, a particularly sensual rendition of his favourite model Rita Lee, will undoubtedly attract plenty of interest.

Other well-known works include Jeffrey Smart’s Dampier III 1967, belonging to the start of a long period of important and successful paintings, Arthur Boyd’s Bride and Bridegroom with Rainbow 1960 and Russell Drysdale’s Boy on a Log 1953.



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