World famous sculptures hit Australian auction market

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 1st June, 2019

Rod Menzies is not one to stand still when it comes to buying and selling art.

Over the years, the chairman of top 500 Australian company Menzies International and co-founder of Menzies Art Brands has purchased impressive works by many of Australia’s leading artists including such household names as Brett Whiteley, John Brack and Russell Drysdale.

The keen collector is now divesting himself of nine significant sculptures – which currently reside at his holiday residence Noorilim near Nagambe in northern Victoria – so he can put the funds towards his next project, acquiring paintings of international significance.

These will appear at Menzies next auction, from 6.30pm Thursday June 27 in the company’s headquarters at 1 Darling Street, South Yarra.

The Menzies sculptures start at lot 36 – a Tim Storrier work entitled The Grand Impedimenta – and finish at lot 45, Aristide Maillol’s Baigneuse Debout se Coiffant, le Coude Leve.

In between are several other top line artists including Jacques Lipchitz’s Homme Assis a la Clarinette II (lot 42), with a catalogue estimate of $800,000 to $1 million, and Auguste Rodin’s La Femme Accroupie, Grand Modele avec une Terrasse Plus Haute (lot 43 - $550,000-$750,000).

Of course, there also are plenty of other appealing artworks to entice auction goers.

Menzies chief executive officer Justin Turner says Howard Arkley’s Deluxe Setting (lot 32), which features on the catalogue’s front cover, is one of the best offerings with its estimate of $800,000-$1.2 million.

“The painting, the centrepiece of Arkley’s National Gallery of Victoria retrospective from November 2006 to February 2007, also is illustrated on the front cover of his book called Spray,” he said.

“In the past, it has been exhibited at the Seoul Art Centre (1996) and was the cover photo for the 1992 Tolano Galleries exhibition from where the current owner purchased it.

“We are confident it will be the first Arkley to sell for over $1 million.”

Two paintings by Lin Onus, an artist rarely seen on the secondary market, Fish and Ripple – Dingo Springs I (lot 28) and Fish and Ripple – Dingo Springs II (lot 29) are other important attractions.

Both paintings have been in the same collection since 2004, while lot 30, Brett Whiteley’s Still Life with Banana, has had the one owner since 1997.

Other works of note include Charles Blackman’s The Insect’s Garden (lot 26) and two works by popular Melbourne artist, the late Mirka Mora, Dancing Bird (lot 8) and Two Birds in My Pocket (lot 9).   


Viewing:                      SYDNEY – 12 Todman Avenue Kensington

                                    11am-6pm Wednesday June 12 to Sunday June 16

                                    (Sunday viewing from 1pm)


                                    MELBOURNE – 1 Darling Street South Yarra

                                    11am-6pm Thursday June 20 to Wednesday June 26

                                    (Sunday viewing from 1pm)


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