David Clarke Collection of Australian art to go under the hammer

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 22nd April, 2015

The David Clarke Collection of Australian Art – containing more than 40 paintings, sculptures and works on paper – is one of the most significant private collections of Australian art in recent decades.

Comprising important works from colonial to modern and contemporary Australian artists, the collection will be auctioned by Sotheby’s Australia, as part of its Important Australian Art auction, from 6.30pm Tuesday April 28 at the InterContinental Sydney, 117 Macquarie Street.

Co-founder of the Macquarie Bank, Clarke was a banker, philanthropist and visionary who strove for excellence in business, sport and the arts.

Coming from England to do the auction is Sotheby’s Europe deputy chairman Lord Mark Poltimore – a familiar face to British audiences through regular appearances on BBC’s Antique Roadshow.

While in Australia, Lord Poltimore will also provide complimentary valuations and meet with collectors who wish to have items valued.

Among the works to go under the hammer at Tuesday’s auction are such jewels as Albert Tucker’s Masked Figure Attacked by Parrot 1964-1967 and Arthur Boyd’s Bride in a Cup (1959), in a private Sydney collection since 1994.

Boyd’s painting forms part of his Love, Marriage and Death of a Half-Caste series – whose themes were later extended to the Bride series.

Sotheby’s Australia set the current auction record for an Arthur Boyd painting in August 2012 with Bride Running Away (1957), which sold for $1,680,000.

Tucker’s painting is one of his most renowned images from the Intruder/Explorer series and has been consigned by his widow Barbara after a long period on loan to the National Gallery of Victoria.

The Intruder figures were initially developed while the artist lived in Rome during the 1950s.

The auction also features a sculpture by Ah Xian, the Chinese-born Australian permanent resident who has become one of the country’s most internationally renowned contemporary artists.

Born in Beijing, in 1989 Ah Xian travelled to Australia as a visiting artist at the Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart and was stranded by the events of Tiananmen Square – thus being obliged to seek asylum in Australia.

Of great interest to buyers will be John Brack’s First Daughter 1955 and its accompanying Study for First Daughter 1955.

Painted the same year as his famous Collins St., 5pm, now hanging in the NGV, First Daughter was first exhibited in 1955, then two years later in Brisbane before being sold in 1971 at auction by Christie’s and disappearing from public view.

Viewing 30 & 34 Queen Street, Woollahra 10am-5pm Thursday to Tuesday.

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