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Auction Description for Deutscher and Hackett: Important Australian & International Fine Art
Sale Notes:
www.invaluable.com/deutscherandhackett

Important Australian & International Fine Art

by Deutscher and Hackett

Platinum House

156 lots with images

April 30, 2014

Live Auction

105 Commercial Road

South Yarra, 3141 Australia

Phone: +61 03 9865 6333

Fax: +61 03 9865 6344

Email: info@deutscherandhackett.com

156 Lots
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WILLIAM DOBELL 1899 - 1970, BOY BATHING, 1939, oil on board

Lot 1: WILLIAM DOBELL 1899 - 1970, BOY BATHING, 1939, oil on board

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Description: WILLIAM DOBELL 1899 - 1970, BOY BATHING, 1939, oil on boardSIGNED: signed lower right: W DOBELLDIMENSIONS: 21.0 x 15.0 cmEXHIBITED: Margaret Preston and William Dobell Loan Exhibition, National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 March - 16 April 1942 (as 'A Bather', lent by R. Millen, label attached verso) The Art of William Dobell, John Martin's Art Gallery, as part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide, 11-26 March 1960 (as 'The Boy Bathing', lent by Mr Horton, label attached verso) Dobell - One Man, War Memorial Gallery of Fine Arts, The University of Sydney, Sydney, April 1960 (label attached verso) William Dobell Retrospective, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 July - 30 August 1964 (lent by Mervyn Horton, label attached verso) William Dobell Exhibition, Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria, November 1964 (label attached verso)LITERATURE: Penton, B., 'Introduction', in Ure Smith, S., (ed.), The Art of William Dobell, Ure Smith Pty Limited, Sydney, 1946, p. 56 (illus.) Gleeson, J., William Dobell, Thames and Hudson, London, 1964, p. 18, cat. 79, pl. 29 (illus.) Gleeson, J., William Dobell, The World of Art Library, Thames and Hudson, London, 1969, pp. 25-26, pl. 6 (illus.) Thomas, D., 'The Mervyn Horton collection', Art and Australia, Spring 1983, p. 78 (illus., as 'A Bather')PROVENANCE: Ronald Millen, Sydney Mervyn Horton, Sydney Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne Private collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above in 1983ESSAY: The paintings of William Dobell provide our art with a range of characters that capture much of the nature and disposition of Australians, and how we see others. We know the hen pecked, but what could rival the image of the one that pecks when looking at Mrs South Kensington, 1937 (Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney). Even the paint surface is scratched and bothered, revealing the highly individual way in which Dobell employed technique, the way he actually applied paint to surface, to establish the personality of his subject. The groomed elegance of The Strapper, 1941 (Newcastle Art Gallery, New South Wales) belongs to him whose job it is to give such care to horses; and The Billy Boy, 1943 (Australian War Memorial, Canberra), shows the ever convivial bludger whose daily toil consists of boiling the billy. Then there are the actual portraits - the unforgettable Margaret Olley, 1948 and Dame Mary Gilmore, 1957 to mention but two.1The model for Boy Bathing, 1939 and the interior subject, Boy Washing, c1933, was fellow artist, John Passmore. Impecunious in London, they shared a studio and acted as models for each other.2 The subject of Boy Bathing, however, is the nude male figure, not the exploration of the creative individual, the artist. Dobell left that for his brilliant portrait of Joshua Smith, winner of the controversial 1943 Archibald Prize under the title of Portrait of an Artist. While the nude was a reasonably rare subject in Dobell's oeuvre, he did pay it quite a bit of attention during the thirties. The Slade Nude, 1930 (Newcastle Art Gallery) is the work of a very gifted student. Nude (Art Gallery of New South Wales), painted within in the year, reveals extraordinary development through the study of the Old Masters, such as Rembrandt. But the leap forward in Boy Bathing is greater. Now back in Sydney, Dobell based it on a London study, the closeness of poses in Boy Washing and Boy Bathing suggesting a common source, or that Dobell developed the latter from the former. Colour enchants the eye, the freedom of the handling of the paint adding to the rhythmic flow and elegance that distinguishes so much of his mature work. Recognition was at hand. In 1939 the Art Gallery of New South Wales bought Boy at the Basin, 1932, his first work to be acquired by a public art gallery, followed by the Art Gallery of South Australia in 1940.3 In 1941 Dobell and Margaret Preston were invited to have a joint exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. It was Dobell's first 'solo' show, and Boy Bathing was one of the paintings he chose to include.1. Both are in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales2. Gleeson, J., William Dobell, Thames and Hudson, London, 1964, p. 183. Boy at the Basin had been exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, in 1933, and received favourable press notice. The Art Gallery of South Australia purchased The Yellow Glove, 1938DAVID THOMAS

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RAH FIZELLE 1891 - 1964, THREE NUDES, c1938, oil on canvas on board

Lot 2: RAH FIZELLE 1891 - 1964, THREE NUDES, c1938, oil on canvas on board

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Description: RAH FIZELLE 1891 - 1964, THREE NUDES, c1938, oil on canvas on boardSIGNED: signed lower right: R. FizelleDIMENSIONS: 32.0 x 44.5 cmEXHIBITED: Spring exhibition 1976, Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne, 18-29 October 1976, cat. 40 Balson - Fizelle - Hinder: An Exhibition of Abstract Art in Sydney 1930 to 1960, Sotheby's Gallery, Sydney, 1998 (illus. in exhibition catalogue) Modern Australian Painting, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne, 12 April - 5 May 2012, cat. 15 (illus. in exhibition catalogue)LITERATURE: Chambers, N., 'The Mathematisation of Nature in the Work of Balson, Fizelle and Hinder', in Balson - Fizelle - Hinder: An Exhibition of Abstract Art in Sydney 1930 to 1960, Sotheby's Gallery, Sydney, 1998PROVENANCE: Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne Private collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above in November 1976ESSAY: We were united in one belief, the constructive approach to painting, and this insistence on the abstract elements in building a design was the keynote of our teaching with both Lhote and Gleizes.'1The following excerpt is from Harding L., 'Rah Fizelle's images of the city and Sydney mural painting', in Edward, D. (ed.), Sydney Moderns: Art for a New World, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2013, p. 170:'[Dorrit] Black's Modern Art Centre (1931-1933) played a brief but important role in introducing European modernism and most notably, cubist methods, to Sydney, the spirit of which continued when Fizelle and Crowley opened their own school at 215a George Street. The curriculum was initially based on Crowley's experiences at the Académie Lhote in Paris, which taught a modified version of cubism popular with English-speaking students.'Fizelle, with a natural inclination towards theory, embraced André Lhote's methods and took up the teaching of dynamic symmetry at the George Street studio, despite gleaning its principles in a second-hand fashion via Crowley and later Frank Hinder and from books they suggested. Lhote's appreciation for the compositional logic of works from the history of western painting, especially classical and Renaissance art, seems to have aligned neatly with Fizelle's own proclivities.'1. Grace Crowley papers, Art Gallery of New South Wales Research Library and Archive, Sydney

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GRACE COSSINGTON SMITH 1892 - 1984, YELLOW DRAPES, 1954, oil on composition board

Lot 3: GRACE COSSINGTON SMITH 1892 - 1984, YELLOW DRAPES, 1954, oil on composition board

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Description: GRACE COSSINGTON SMITH 1892 - 1984, YELLOW DRAPES, 1954, oil on composition boardSIGNED: signed and dated lower left: G Cossington Smith 54DIMENSIONS: 76.0 x 54.5 cmPROVENANCE: Adrian Feint, Sydney, cat. F 11 Artarmon Galleries (Artlovers), Sydney (label attached verso) Private collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above in 1979ESSAY: Paintings once owned by other artists are special. And a still life once in the collection of another master of this genre, Adrian Feint, is more so. This invites double pleasure in the discovery of what makes Grace Cossington Smith's Yellow Drapes, 1954 so special. It is a typical work, an interior with the common oddments of still life, rather similar to Still Life with Boronia, 1955, once in the collection of The Lady Casey and sold by Deutscher and Hackett in April last year.1 Significantly, The Lady Casey was also an artist and fine connoisseur of art. The scenes in both are within Cossington Smith's home at Turramurra, the everyday of flowers, fruit, a view to the garden beyond, and the shared flow of yellow drapery. But they transcend the mere domestic moment, transformed into golden works of art through the artist's use of light suffused with colour. Light and colour, here no commonplace, invite and invoke the viewer to join the artist in her enjoyment of the visual world and the exploration of that which lies beyond in its beauty through wonderment. 'My chief interest, [Cossington Smith said], ... has always been colour, but not the flat crude colour, it must be colour within colour, it has to shine; light must be in it ...'2 For her, the light of the physical world is also the light of enlightenment; and it sparkles throughout her paintings. As this painting shows, yellow is a favourite. Cascading in abundance, as in Yellow Drapes, it touches, as the sun, and gives all things life. She called yellow 'the colour of the sun', and let it flood into her picture through the open door - uniting exterior with the interior, harmonizing the commonplace with the metaphorical.3 Through the individuality of their application, the brush strokes vibrate, giving added life to the picture surface and greater depth to its meaning. Yet, all this vitality is permeated with a peace and tranquillity, of grace and elegance, old fashioned ideas never before more needed in our contemporary world.Commenting on her art in 1969 for Mervyn Horton's book, Present Day Art in Australia, Cossington Smith summed up her art exactly. 'All form - landscape, interiors, still life, flowers, animals, people - have an articulate grace and beauty; painting to me is expressing this form in colour, colour vibrant with light - but containing this other, silent quality which is unconscious, and belongs to all things created.'4 Yellow Drapes does this superbly.1. Melbourne, 24 April 2013, lot 6 2. The artist in conversation with Hazel de Berg, 16 August 1965, National Library of Australia, Canberra, quoted in Modjeska, D., Stravinsky's Lunch, Picador, Pan Macmillan Australia, Sydney, 1999, p. 227 3. ibid., p. 225 4. 'Artist's Comment', in Horton, M., (ed), Present Day Art in Australia, Ure Smith, Sydney, 1969, p. 203DAVID THOMAS

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JOHN BRACK 1920 - 1999, PEARS, 1957, oil on canvas

Lot 4: JOHN BRACK 1920 - 1999, PEARS, 1957, oil on canvas

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Description: JOHN BRACK 1920 - 1999, PEARS, 1957, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed lower right: John BrackDIMENSIONS: 31.0 x 52.5 cmEXHIBITED: Group Exhibition, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 10-24 April 1957LITERATURE: Grishin, S., The Art of John Brack, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1990, vol. II, cat. o64, pp. 10, 101 (illus.)PROVENANCE: Australian Galleries, Melbourne (label attached verso) Private collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above in May 1957 Thence by descent Private collection, MelbourneESSAY: In the hands of a master, a still life painting becomes something fascinating. Think of the modern achievements of Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso or Giorgio Morandi, or look back to Caravaggio, and the seventeenth century Dutch painters of extravaganzas who made visual feasts out of fruit and other such gastronomic delights. When we turn to John Brack, he marries the brilliant line of fascination with the sharpness of his intellectual curiosity and Pears is the faultless result. The sharpness of eye and mind are translated into images of like acuity. The linear eloquence of this painting, and of all Brack's work, is unique in Australian art. And at times he adds an awkwardness of angles to give it further edge. As in Pears, his paintings and prints are so talkative, even if still and silent. There is, of course, what we like to call 'body language', the way in which forms, gestures, and colours express ideas. They communicate on another level. Among the red pears, one is upright, one leans left, another right, while the big green pear is more isolated, with a left inclination. The shelf they sit upon is otherwise bare, the wall behind pleasantly painterly. Thoughts of somebody departing, or a mere capriccio tantalizing the viewer's participation?In the mid-fifties, isolated objects began to appear in his art with the bland titles of The Hair Brush, 1955 and The Pot Plant, 1957. Two group shows at the Australian Galleries, Melbourne in March and May of 1957 saw Carnations; Lavender and Sweet William; and Gerberas making their debuts. Pears made its appearance in the latter. Then, in November,The Boucher Nude, 1957 became a highlight of his solo show, radically turning the erotic on its head. It marked the year as one of extraordinary achievement, especially in the mastery of the spartan effect, developed through the study of still life and the intensity of his realization. It is the sheer matter-of-factness of Brack's art that makes it so arresting and telling. What could be more so than the subject of one his greatest early works, Collins Street, 5 p.m., 1955, (in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne) painted two years before. It's the rush at the end of the day's work. But what could be more still, more fixed in its place! It is another version of still life, chock full of meaning, satirical and otherwise. Even the colours lack a feeling of movement - respectably brown, grey, jaundiced and inert. Pears are people on a shelf, with as much character and variation as those with fixed faces as they cavalcade along Collins Street - perhaps a bit more colourful.DAVID THOMAS

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JOHN BRACK 1920 - 1999, STUDY FOR ON THE RINGS, 1975, conté on paper

Lot 5: JOHN BRACK 1920 - 1999, STUDY FOR ON THE RINGS, 1975, conté on paper

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Description: JOHN BRACK 1920 - 1999, STUDY FOR ON THE RINGS, 1975, conté on paperSIGNED: signed and dated lower left: John Brack 75DIMENSIONS: 45.5 x 35.5 cmPROVENANCE: Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne, c1975 Private collection, Adelaide Deutscher~Menzies, Melbourne, 25 April 1999, lot 62 Private collection, MelbourneESSAY: The following excerpts are from Grishin, S., The Art of John Brack, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1990, vol. I, pp. 121-122:'The series of gymnasts consists of ten oil paintings and eight conté drawings. Thematically it presents a logical progression from the ballroom dancing series - the concern with senseless ritual as recreational activities are converted into difficult and testing labour. In its formal language, however, there are signs of a fundamental change. A constant preoccupation in Brack's art is identity. This can be traced back to a youthful interest in books on physiognomy as well as a later study of Nigel Dennis' Cards of Identity with its questions of 're-identification' and 'personal distinctiveness' ... Up to this point, Brack's images of still-life objects - scissors, knives and forks - were kept separate from figure compositions, although he did imbue these still life objects with a symbolic existence. In the gymnast series, the stick-like figures start to lose a little of their human identity and increasingly become formal elements that symbolically convey humanity as observed from a distance. The whole setting is reduced to a minimum - the featureless floors and walls of the gymnasium, with a few lines on the bare floorboards marking off the extent of the playing arena. They are very sparse compositions where the figures remain the dominant elements but no longer occupy most of the picture space. 'The origins of the gymnast motif probably can be traced back to Brack's observation of his own children when they were young, although when he commenced the series his youngest daughter was almost twenty and all the gymnasts in the first series are boys. Implied in this association is the artist's concern that angst is being pushed down onto our children: "... a series of pictures dealing with children doing gymnastic exercises, the idea here is related to balancing and falling, but not absolutely collapsing - you know, the world is going on in a series of stumbling lurches, but not absolutely collapsing ... it is not the abyss, it is stumbling, but it is not the abyss."1'The series of gymnasts is largely preoccupied with exploring a number of premeditated ambiguities intended as a visual metaphor commenting on the complexity of life ... there is statement about balance and imbalance, movement and stability, unity and discord, implying in the antinomical sense that at the moment of greatest balance there exists the greatest potential for imbalance, that ascent implies descent, and so forth. These slight, almost sexless figures cast against the naked floorboards are involved in part of a ritual as complex as life itself. Having attained for a brief moment a state of triumph, they hover as if frozen on the pinnacle of their success, precariously balancing, tottering on the brink of collapse without actually collapsing.'1. John Brack on John Brack, Lecture, Australian National University, Canberra, 1977, p. 7

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IAN FAIRWEATHER 1891 - 1974, SOOCHOW - TWO BRIDGES, 1933, oil on paper on board

Lot 6: IAN FAIRWEATHER 1891 - 1974, SOOCHOW - TWO BRIDGES, 1933, oil on paper on board

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Description: IAN FAIRWEATHER 1891 - 1974, SOOCHOW - TWO BRIDGES, 1933, oil on paper on boardSIGNED: signed lower right: I Fairweather inscribed lower centre: Soochow - Two BridgesDIMENSIONS: 32.5 x 41.0 cmEXHIBITED: Probably Ian Fairweather, Cynthia Reed's, Melbourne, March 1934PROVENANCE: Cynthia Reed's, Melbourne Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne Private collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above in 1980ESSAY: In his latest book, a mammoth and absorbing history of Australian art, the indefatigable Sasha Grishin perceptively observes of Ian Fairweather, 'He was a painter who rarely worked from life and in a way most of his works are memory paintings in which he was trying to resolve the problems of formal composition and paint application.'1 These brilliant resolutions enrich our art immeasurably, reflection being a key to the enjoyment of Soochow - Two Bridges, 1933. There is a ravishing beauty about his use of oil and gouache - seen again in (Chinese Mountain) and (River, Hangchow), both of 1933 and in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney - that makes the sighting of another work, (Bridge China), 1933, all the more desirable. Related in subject to our painting, and illustrated in Murray Bail's study of Fairweather, it is recorded as 'whereabouts unknown'.2 Nevertherless, they share a freedom of handling that is captivating, providing the eye has not already been totally seduced by the colour of Soochow - Two Bridges. The Balinese paintings of the same time are similarly unforgettable, (Head of a Woman), c1933 in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and Bathing Scene, Bali, 1933 in the Tate Gallery, London, showing again the young artist in masterful stride. The appeal of his colour, so in harmony with the calligraphy of his brush strokes, is fascinating, given how limited Fairweather's palette is. On the absence of bright colours, Fairweather said, 'The Chinese manage to do their finest paintings with no colour at all ...'3 The pastel dry of his pigments adds a special earthiness, increasing the harmony between subject art.Fairweather settled in Shanghai in the first part of 1929, living in a building looking over Soochow Creek, a bustle of people and sampans.4 It inspired many paintings, including Boats at Soochow Creek, 1938, painted nine years later when in the Philippines.5 The power of recall was so strong that it expresses all the immediacy of a work taken direct from the motif, often found in later painted Chinese subjects. The bridge, a ubiquitous feature of the river, occurs in many a Fairweather painting, the curved arch uniting the two banks of the landscape in reflection of the universal harmony within nature. Moreover, the shape itself is pleasing; Bridge, Huchow, 1941, another masterly work in the National Gallery of Victoria, affording triple the pleasure through its several arches. In Soochow - Two Bridges and elsewhere, the bridge can also be interpreted as a metaphor of Fairweather effortlessly bridging the arts of the East and West in his own.1. Grishin, S., Australian Art: A History, Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Publishing Limited, Melbourne, [2014], pp. 359, 3612. Bail, M., Fairweather, Murdoch Books, Sydney, revised edition 2009, p. 30 (illus.)3. Fairweather in 1974, quoted in Bail, ibid., p. 844. Soochow Creek, nowadays Suzhou, flows through the centre of Shanghai5. See Deutscher and Hackett, Melbourne, 24 April 2013, lot 10 DAVID THOMAS

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IAN FAIRWEATHER 1891 - 1974, SCOOTERS, 1950, gouache and watercolour on paper

Lot 7: IAN FAIRWEATHER 1891 - 1974, SCOOTERS, 1950, gouache and watercolour on paper

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Description: IAN FAIRWEATHER 1891 - 1974, SCOOTERS, 1950, gouache and watercolour on paperSIGNED: signed, dated and inscribed lower right: IF [in Chinese characters] / 1900 [in Chinese characters] 50 / ScootersDIMENSIONS: 58.5 x 72.5 cmEXHIBITED: Fairweather: a Retrospective Exhibition, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 3 June - 4 July 1965; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 21 July - 22 August 1965; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 9 September - 10 October 1965; National Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 26 October - 21 November 1965; Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth, 9 December 1965 - 16 January 1966; Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, 10 February - 13 March 1966, cat. 85 Ian Fairweather 1891-1974, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 25 September - 6 November 1991, cat. 16 Fairweather, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1 October - 27 November 1994; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 17 December 1994 - 19 February 1995, cat. 16 (label attached verso) The Drawings of Ian Fairweather, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 21 June - 24 August 1997; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 October - 7 December 1997; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 7 February - 29 March 1998, cat. 23 (label attached verso)LITERATURE: Fisher, T., The Drawings of Ian Fairweather, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1997, pp. 14, 20, pl. 7 (illus.) Bail, M., Fairweather, Murdoch Books, Sydney, revised edition 2009, pp. 95, 251, cat. 89, pl. 72 (illus.)PROVENANCE: Collection of Lina Bryans, Melbourne Thence by descent Private collection, MelbourneESSAY: In the introduction to the catalogue for Ian Fairweather's nationally touring retrospective exhibition of 1965, curator Robert Smith wrote, 'In his paintings Ian Fairweather has always been concerned with people - not as individuals, not as types, but as people: part of the vast unfolding tapestry of life'.1 In Scooters, 1950 line effortlessly captures and expresses movement as much through the figures of the young people as the scooters themselves. Murray Bail in his monograph on Fairweather refers to its 'deliberate awkwardness'.2 It is an awkwardness, to my mind, that extends the feeling of movement and captures that feeling of momentary imbalance one may have when riding such wheeled vehicles - riding a bike or scooter is not always an elegant activity. This is allied to a feeling of freedom, colour free of form, line following its own circuitous fascinations, tapestry-like in its frontal, frieze-like and flattened patterning. There is a sense that the pigment is about to free itself from reality, the painting beautifully balanced between figuration and abstraction. As Fairweather said, '... I don't feel I am a complete abstractionist - I still like - perhaps mistakenly in this age of collectivism - to retain some relic of subjective reality.'3 The seeming simplicity of the work is arresting - a few gestures of line and colour and a work of fascination is created - a sure measure of Fairweather's masterly creativity. As fellow-artist and art critic James Gleeson wrote about Fairweather's art in general, 'He can evoke a world of subtly fluctuating values with a palette almost entirely restricted to a range of earthy browns and greys that lie anywhere between black and white and are cooled or warmed with suggestions of blue or rose. With such limited means he conjures up organizations of colour that rival the lustre of a grey pearl.'4After such fulfillment, should one dig deeper? Some see the figures of a girl (two girls?) and boy dramatically divided by a jagged fissure.5 Yet, their faces look too content for such perturbations. The outlining by black-edged, torn shapes gives emphasis to their figures. Moreover, while being an effective compositional device with an interlocking play between surface and the illusion of depth, it does remind that riding a scooter can be bumpy at times, for Fairweather's embrace is wide.1. Smith, R., Fairweather: A Retrospective, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1965, unpaginated2. Bail, M., Fairweather, Murdoch Books, Sydney, revised edition 2009, p. 943. Quoted in Bail, ibid., p. 1404. Gleeson, J., 'Painting in Australia since 1945', Art and Australia, vol. 1, no. 1, May 1963, p. 75. Bail, op. cit., p. 94 DAVID THOMAS

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DANILA VASSILIEFF 1897 - 1958, FITZROY CHILDREN, 1937, oil on canvas

Lot 8: DANILA VASSILIEFF 1897 - 1958, FITZROY CHILDREN, 1937, oil on canvas

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Description: DANILA VASSILIEFF 1897 - 1958, FITZROY CHILDREN, 1937, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed lower right: VassilieffDIMENSIONS: 56.0 x 51.5 cmEXHIBITED: Landfall, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 6 April - 30 June 1970 (label attached verso)LITERATURE: Galbally, A., Landfall: The Captain James Cook Bicentenary Exhibition of Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1970, cat. 1937b (unpaginated)PROVENANCE: Collection of Lina Bryans, Melbourne Thence by descent Private collection, MelbourneESSAY: Here the two children in the lower half, probably a brother and a sister, look away from the faded grandeur of their background - the inner suburb of Fitzroy - towards and past the artist. They capture the eternal in the everyday. They are what Danila Vassilieff would have described as the 'real' people, those who would not normally be painted.Danila Vassilieff had assimilated the Russian expressionist aesthetic in London: the notion of the artist transcending the commonplace through the intensity of his own expression. The quickness of his brushmarks and bold strokes of raw pigment express the immediacy of his vision, his non-academic direct response to his subject. And his full personal involvement continues into the original hand-made frame, with its combed plaster finish. An almost classic Fitzroy street scene, this painting reflects the humanism Vassilieff brought to Australian art. The two adolescents anchor the composition, rapidly brushed, in mainly earth colours. Their black rounded outlines contrast with the structural lines of their setting, for example the telegraph pole that springs up from his head and the honey-comb of black guttering that links her bundle of hair to the corral around the wintry street tree. In similar fashion, the flurry of warm reds and yellows of her pullover and jacket refer back to the peeling façades, keying through the rosebud lips of her brother; while his green-tinged jacket connects through their cast shadows on the road with the doorway behind her centrally-parted hair.Vassilieff loved children. A Don Cossack, he came from a large family in the south of Russia from whom he had been separated since the Revolution. Here, in the streets of Fitzroy, he was close to his subject matter. As his wife told a reporter: 'He does not need to go searching for subjects ... he often has a chat with the children of the neighbourhood and paints them too ... the children flock around her husband, he has many friends too with the dogs of the neighbourhood who are always apt to get painted into the street scene.'The speed at which Vassilieff worked caught not only his response to them but also theirs to him: her calm, confident and trusting gaze and his more cautious expression as he looks with pursed lips into the future.Lina Bryans, the young artist who also painted with Vassilieff, bought this painting at one of his first two exhibitions at Riddell's Galleries, regarding it as his best. She commented on the deliberation of his brushmarks, both within and outside the faces.FELICITY ST JOHN MOORE

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VIC O'CONNOR 1918 - 2010, THE GREEK CAFE, 1944, oil on board

Lot 9: VIC O'CONNOR 1918 - 2010, THE GREEK CAFE, 1944, oil on board

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Description: VIC O'CONNOR 1918 - 2010, THE GREEK CAFE, 1944, oil on boardDIMENSIONS: 48.0 x 42.0 cmEXHIBITED: Three Realist Artists, Myer Art Gallery, Melbourne, 16-25 July 1946, cat. 76, 20 gns Noel Counihan, Vic O'Connor, James Wigley, Tye's Gallery, Melbourne, 6-16 October 1953, cat. 21 (as 'Greek Cafe', nfs) V.G. O'Connor: Paintings, Victorian Artists' Society Galleries, Melbourne, 16-27 May 1955, cat. 1 (lent by L. Hawkins Esq.) Selected Paintings by Vic O'Connor, 1939-83, Gryphon Gallery, Melbourne College of Advanced Education, Melbourne, 1-19 August 1983, cat. 8 (as 'Greek Cafe, 1944', nfs)PROVENANCE: Collection of L. Hawkins Private collection, Melbourne Lauraine Diggins Gallery, Melbourne (label attached verso) Private collection, Perth, acquired from the above in 1987ESSAY: The migration of thousands of Greeks to Melbourne centred on the inner city, creating a Greek Precinct within Lonsdale, Swanston and Russell streets, home to restaurants, cafes and shops. Melbourne became the centre of the largest Greek-speaking colony in the world, second only to Athens and Thessalonica. While Vic O'Connor was drawn by the immigrant life on the streets of Fitzroy and Carlton, it was the smokey rooms of the Greek cafes of Lonsdale Street that exercised particular attraction. With a law degree and army service to distract him, O'Connor made a prominent start to his art career when he shared first prize in the 1941 Contemporary Art Society exhibition with Donald Friend. His winning painting, The Acrobats, received favourable notice in the Sydney press, and leading Sydney figures of the likes of Warwick Fairfax, Peter Bellew, and the ballerina Helen Kirsova bought his paintings. He met Noel Counihan and Yosl Bergner, becoming close friends, and joining them in the Anti-Fascist Exhibition of 1942. The catalogue preface opened with the words, 'Art is a social activity, and as such is organically united with the struggles and aspirations of humanity towards the ideals of democratic life', a view with which O'Connor was in complete accord.1 He had experienced the hardships of the Depression, worked as a young boy at the Victoria Market, joined the Communist Party, and became close to Melbourne's Jewish community. Together with Counihan and Bergner, O'Connor was a significant figure in the Social Realist movement and its concern about social injustice. They held their first major exhibition in 1946, 'Three Realist Artists' at the Myer Art Gallery, attracting considerable notice. Alan McCulloch in The Argus acknowledged it as 'one of the outstanding shows of the year.'2 Of O'Connor, McCulloch wrote, '[his] work is distinguished by a really beautiful sense of colour orchestration, ... it is always extremely sensitive.' The Greek Cafe, 1944 was drawn from visits to the Greek cafes, elevating the commonplace into a work of art. The emotional power of his colour, of darks enveloping the downtrodden upon which the light still shines, recalls Vincent van Gogh's early works, especially The Potato Eaters.3 There is a like compassion in the bent figures, anonymous, humble, but human. In the best of his art, like The Greek Cafe, O'Connor combines a painterly perception with a lawyer's acuity, touched by the conscience of a Social Realist. He regarded the painting so highly that it was included in exhibitions of 1953, 1955, and 1983 when Memory Holloway, The Age art critic, wrote 'the most intense of O'Connor's pictures are still those done between 1939 and 1944 - the facades of Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, the hostages and smoke filled rooms of a Lonsdale Greek cafe.'41. Quoted in Smith, B., Noel Counihan: Artist and Revolutionary, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1993, p. 1722. McCulloch, A., 'Two Art Exhibitions', Argus, 16 July 1946, p. 63. Collection of the Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam4. Age, 10 August 1983, p. 13 DAVID THOMAS

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FRED WILLIAMS 1927 - 1982, FALLEN TREE, 1966, oil on canvas

Lot 10: FRED WILLIAMS 1927 - 1982, FALLEN TREE, 1966, oil on canvas

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Description: FRED WILLIAMS 1927 - 1982, FALLEN TREE, 1966, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed lower centre: Fred WilliamsDIMENSIONS: 90.0 x 80.0 cmEXHIBITED: Dealer's Choice Exhibition, Rudy Komon Gallery, January 1968PROVENANCE: Rudy Komon Gallery, Sydney (stock number 1504) Bruce Gyngell, Sydney, acquired from the above in 1968 Geoff K. Gray, Sydney, March 1987 Niagara Galleries, Melbourne Private collection, Sydney Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne Private collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above in 1999ESSAY: In Fred Williams's Fallen Tree, 1966, harmonies of dominant verticals transversed by the individuality of the single angle are under the command of the horizontal, encompassed within the circle. It is the visual equivalent of a series of beautiful sounds, abstracted from nature where inspiration was found. As with Williams's landscapes, it is a singular work of art, arresting in directness and seeming simplicity in its exploration of the profound. A tall tree has fallen between the trunks of other gums. The landscape climbs upwards behind to reach the horizon and a clear sky. Landforms emerge through the colour application of paint; and textures give bark to the gums. The subject would seem ordinary and everyday, not the stuff from which great art is made. But in the hands of Williams such things become so. Looking at this transcript of Australian landscape, it is this awareness that marks the beginning of an engrossing journey of aesthetic pleasure. It is like the excitement of the first captivating notes of a concerto, the seeing of sound and the sound of seeing. Unique to the created work itself, analogies are merely means of guidance.Turning from the once perceived monotony of fields and forests of eucalypts, Williams painted melodies of nuanced colour, textured, encrusted paint, of detail touching the universal. As often observed, Williams discovered new variety and beauty in the sameness of the Antipodes. Superbly minimal as are his works of this time, the interplay between the classic flatness of the picture plane and the illusion of depth is Williams at his best. While trunks recede in ordered recession, the dominance of those on the picture surface keep the rightful order in its place. Then one falls sideways into the picture space, creating an illusion of depth. The tug-of-war between surface and depth continues in vertical immobility versus angular movement. It fascinated Williams and he explored it in a number of earlier works known as 'The Forest Series' of 1961-62, and especially an oil of 1962 of the same title, not as close in focus, with the fallen tree leaning the other way.1 The later Fallen Tree of 1968 (private collection) is almost identical to our painting, also circular of composition, and included in the recent Fred Williams retrospective at the National Gallery of Australia. The etching Fallen Tree, 1967 is close in imagery, impressions being in the best collections. Remarking on the monotony of the Australian landscape and lack of a focal point, Williams said, '... if there's going to be no focal point in a landscape [then] it had to [be built] into the paint'.2 Here, the circle itself creates that focal point.1. Fallen Tree, 1962, oil on composition board, 90 x 121 cm, private collection, illus. in McCaughey, fig. 129, p.142. See also Fallen Tree, 1962, watercolour and gouache, 37.5 x 49 cm, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney2. Fred Williams to James Gleeson, interview 3 October 1978 for Australian National Gallery Interview Series, quoted in Zdanowicz, I., and Coppel, S., Fred Williams: An Australian Vision, The British Museum Press, London, 2003, p. 77 DAVID THOMAS

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ARTHUR BOYD 1920 - 1999, WATERFALL ON THE BANKS OF THE SHOALHAVEN RIVER, oil on composition board

Lot 11: ARTHUR BOYD 1920 - 1999, WATERFALL ON THE BANKS OF THE SHOALHAVEN RIVER, oil on composition board

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Description: ARTHUR BOYD 1920 - 1999, WATERFALL ON THE BANKS OF THE SHOALHAVEN RIVER, oil on composition boardSIGNED: signed lower right: Arthur BoydDIMENSIONS: 152.5 x 122.0 cmPROVENANCE: Art Galleries Schubert, Queensland Private collection, MelbourneESSAY: Eager to rediscover his roots, his 'Australianism', after more than a decade abroad, in 1971 Arthur Boyd settled on the banks of the Shoalhaven River where once again the magic of the dour, untamed Australian landscape became the impetus for his art. Wild and primordial, the region differed completely from the ordered English countryside to which he had grown accustomed and thus, a new vision was required to unlock its tangled mysteries. If previously Breughel and Rembrandt had offered inspiration, now Von Guerard, Piguenit and Buvelot became Boyd's spiritual mentors; as he mused, 'I see the landscape looking very much like a Von Guerard, much more than the look of the Australian Impressionist school. In this area you are aware again and again how those old boys got it right all the time.'1Soul-piercing in its beauty, the Shoalhaven region offered infinite potential as a subject - 'the variation in the area with its great deep tones and high keys' bearing strong affinities with music. As Boyd elaborated, '... in the desert there is only one note, just one low singing note. In this landscape the tonal range - not tonal in the obvious sense of colour, but the actual fact of the horizon which can vary from very high to low to infinite, depending on your line of vision - makes it a greater challenge. It has a knife-edged clarity. Impressionism could never have been born here, but Wagner could easily have composed here.'2Suffused with warmth and lyricism, Waterfall on the Banks of the Shoalhaven River is an exquisitely painted example of the 'pure' Shoalhaven landscapes which, devoid of the mythological creatures and symbolic narrative punctuating his earlier versions (see for example lot XXX), celebrate Nature in all her beauty and grandeur. Indeed, the work is a poignant reminder of how Boyd, comfortable once more with the eternal diversity of the Australian landscape, ultimately did tame his wilderness - '... what was unfamiliar became familiar, what was menacing became friendly, what was awesome became intimate.'31. Boyd cited in McGrath, S., The Artist and the Shoalhaven, Bay Books, Sydney, 1982, p. 2202. Boyd cited in Pearce, B., Arthur Boyd Retrospective, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1993, pp. 26-273. McGrath, op.cit., p. 79 VERONICA ANGELATOS

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JEFFREY SMART 1921 - 2013, ON THE CASSIA, 1965, oil on canvas

Lot 12: JEFFREY SMART 1921 - 2013, ON THE CASSIA, 1965, oil on canvas

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Description: JEFFREY SMART 1921 - 2013, ON THE CASSIA, 1965, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed lower right: Jeffrey SmartDIMENSIONS: 60.0 x 70.0 cmEXHIBITED: Jeffrey Smart, Galleria 88, Rome, 8-23 April 1965, cat. 13 Jeffrey Smart, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, 29 September - 11 October 1965, cat. 9LITERATURE: Art and Australia, September 1965 (illus. inside back cover) Looby, K., 'The absurd beauty of reality', Hemisphere, vol. 16, no. 11, November 1972, p. 18 (illus.) Quartermaine, P., Jeffrey Smart, Gryphon Books, Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 1983, pp. 28-29, cat. 452 (illus.) Allen, C., Jeffrey Smart: Unpublished Paintings, 1940-2007, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 2008, pp. 37-38, 135 (illus.)PROVENANCE: Macquarie Galleries, Sydney Institutional collection, SydneyESSAY: Allowing for Jeffrey Smart's reference to figures being introduced to give scale within his pictures, they often played roles of more fascinating interest. This is certainly so for On the Cassia, 1965 in which the possibilities for the bald headed man range from the artist himself, Alfred Hitchcock-like appearing in his own movies, to someone more sinister, commented on by Christopher Allen in his 2008 book. Of these men in suits, Allen says, 'Usually bald and often wearing dark glasses, they are cast as bureaucrats, property developers, possibly secret policemen or criminals in works such as On the Cassia (1965), Outside the Ministry (1970) or The developer (1982-83).'1 Allen found something quite unsettling in Observer II (1983-84), the feeling of being looked at heightened by the 'one eye uncannily magnified'. I find it even more so in On the Cassia where the central figure's interest is the viewer, observed with a suspicion only partly disguised by fictitious nonchalance. Here Smart provides a favourite touch for his agent of secret service - the observer as a dark accent rising upwards from the suit through the screen behind. As Smart once said, 'The fat man in the dark suit, in various guises is in many of my paintings, because a strong vertical black rectangle with a bald head is a lovely shape ...'2 Smart added, 'You have to be very careful because as soon as you put a figure in a painting the viewer's eye goes straight to it, like a magnet.' That is, of course, exactly what Smart wanted. Typically, all is unnervingly still, wrapped in an atmosphere of dereliction. Boarded up, tall grasses grow where life should be; shuttered windows speak of abandonment. With a hearing device in ear, the watcher's back has turned on the imaged marching girl, with the detritus of the Stars and Stripes scattered across the hoarding. The abruptly cast shadow is angled to suggest sudden change of direction, as the watcher turns from what is done to look at us outside the picture's field.Painted soon after Smart moved to Italy to live, the reference to Cassia in the title may refer to the ancient Roman road of Via Cassia as in 'all roads lead to Rome'. The torn poster 'Circo Americano', however, has a more pointed and poignant reference. The opening day for Circo Americano in Turin was postponed for it was Friday, 22 November 1963, the day of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Boarded up with some windows open, does the closed building recall the Book Depository in Dallas? For thematic context and aesthetic quality, On the Cassia comes between The Cahill Expressway, 1962 (with a bald headed figure), and The Listeners, 1965.3 Listening devices began to break through many a Smart horizon, soon morphing from seemingly visual absurdities into metaphors of telling significance. Reviewing the 1965 Sydney exhibition in which our painting was shown, James Gleeson wrote, 'He paints a world of threatened serenity.'41. Allen, C., Jeffrey Smart: Unpublished Paintings, 1940-2007, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 2008, p. 382. Jeffrey Smart quoted ibid., p. 353. In the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of Ballarat respectively4. Gleeson, J., 'Jeffrey Smart's "still" lifes', Sun-Herald, 30 October 1965, p. 76 DAVID THOMAS

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JEFFREY SMART 1921 - 2013, THE LARGE TANKER, 1984, oil on canvas

Lot 13: JEFFREY SMART 1921 - 2013, THE LARGE TANKER, 1984, oil on canvas

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Description: JEFFREY SMART 1921 - 2013, THE LARGE TANKER, 1984, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed lower left: Jeffrey SmartDIMENSIONS: 40.5 x 80.0 cmEXHIBITED: Jeffrey Smart: Recent Paintings, Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney, 6-24 November 1984, cat. 16LITERATURE: Lynn, E., 'Rich content, but what does it mean?', The Weekend Australian, 17-18 November 1984, p. 16 Smith, M., 'Moved by man's violent environment', The Bulletin, 27 November 1984, pp. 88-89 McDonald, J., Jeffrey Smart: Paintings of the '70s and '80s, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1990, cat. 276, p. 161 Art and Australia, vol. 22, no. 4, Winter 1985, p. 455 (illus.)PROVENANCE: Private collection, Sydney Deutscher~Menzies, Sydney, 5 March 2002, lot 21 Private collection, SydneyESSAY: Looking at many a Jeffrey Smart painting is like being in the theatre. Lights are low. The curtain is about to rise, and the expectancy is palpable. So it is with The Large Tanker, 1984, the eloquence of its lights and shadows in harmony with the balanced realisation of the forms and captivating colours. The stillness is engrossing, the moment frozen in a kind of eternity of timelessness. So translates Smart the ordinariness of the everyday into something special, spectacular, striking.When Smart visited Australia in November 1984 for his exhibition at Rex Irwin's gallery in Sydney, The Large Tanker, 1984 was among the works on show. Significantly, this was followed by a talk on Piero della Francesca, Smart's favourite Renaissance artist, given at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. For Smart, Piero was the master of a noble simplicity and monumental grandeur, his ordered compositions also imbued with a stillness tangible. Smart loved him. His influences generously flowed over into Smart's classicism, qualities which we admire so much today in his presentation of the modern world of apartments, roads, signs and overpasses, peopled with trucks, tankers, and their attendant humans. Through the illusion of his brush, the familiar is exposed with the impact of the new, sharpened by concern about our de-humanized world. As Smart once said, 'Man has made prisons for himself in every city; and for the ordinary person escape is very difficult.'1 At the same time he was quoted as saying 'The subject-matter is only the hinge that opens the door, the hook on which one hangs the coat.2 And finally, Smart's credo - 'My pictures are synthetic, in that I move things around relentlessly, change the heights of buildings, the colours, to get the composition right.'3 The Large Tanker is a triumphant expression of all three. And what could be more telling than its compositional balance? The eye is led by the singularity of the bright yellow container on wheels with its orange hose, its colour alone balancing the grey-white mass of the container like a David and Goliath. Uneasy in its heroic achievement, disorientation is hinted at through the interplay of balance and imbalance. Then, Smart heightens the sense of drama by casting the shadow across the tanker, echoed in the overcast sky, and extended by the eerie light spotlighting the figures. Smart's immaculate essays in the mastery of composition have an enigmatic side. He was a ceaseless traveller and his paintings are full of images of movement - motor vehicles, autostrada and the like. Yet, paradoxically, he realized them as images of stillness in a world embraced by movement.1. Jeffrey Smart, quoted in McGrath, S., 'Jeffrey Smart', Art and Australia, vol. 7, no. 1, June 1969, p. 362. ibid., p. 343. Jeffrey Smart quoted in Capon, E., and Greer, G., Jeffrey Smart: Drawings and Studies 1942-2001, Australian Galleries, Sydney, 2001, p. 148 DAVID THOMAS

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JOHN OLSEN born 1928, SYDNEY NIGHTS, 1965, oil on canvas

Lot 14: JOHN OLSEN born 1928, SYDNEY NIGHTS, 1965, oil on canvas

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Description: JOHN OLSEN born 1928, SYDNEY NIGHTS, 1965, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed and dated lower right: JO 65DIMENSIONS: 91.5 x 122.0 cmPROVENANCE: Clune Galleries, Sydney Harold and Connie Slater, Sydney Private collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above in 1987ESSAY: Olsen's Sydney Nights was purchased by Harold Slater, September 1965 from Clune Galleries, Sydney. According to Slater it was the last painting by Olsen before his trip to Portugal - 'the last of those "You Beaut" and Harbour paintings that has an attack and panache ...' John Olsen embraces life with a gusto that is infectious. The hedonistic exuberance that distinguishes his art of this time, flows through such paintings of earthly delights as Half Past Six at the Fitzroy, 1963, in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, and Entrance to the Sea Port of Desire, 1964, in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, on into Sydney Nights, 1965. Bubbling over with enthusiasm, they seduce the eye through their metamorphic imagery, sinuous paint and colour, outlines of landforms and of those who inhabit them interchanging with unstoppable dynamism. Olsen was living in Victoria Street, Potts Point, then the centre of Sydney's thriving young art world. His unrivalled view of the Harbour with its ceaseless change provided constant inspiration for Sydney Nights and the other lively paintings of this series. They are so evocative you can hear the rowdiness of the pubs, feel the good life, and sense the mateship. As if to emphasize the point, Olsen morphed human profiles into headlands, a painterly gesture into a Luna Park. They are paintings supremely redolent of Australia of the sixties. Olsen's star was in brilliant ascendancy, as he focused on city and outback alike, be it the Entrance to the Siren City of the Rat Race or the 'You Beaut Country' series.1 In Sydney Nights and other like paintings, abstractly expressive landscapes of people and places teem with life - arterial lights and flashing signs, everything happening at once in homage to and celebration of the circus of living. Raw colours straight from the tube are set against sonorous deep blues to create celebratory pictorial metaphors of the moment. Only the aerial view can suffice to capture all with a calligraphic and pulsating sweep of paint.In April of 1965 Olsen held a major exhibition at the Clune Galleries. It included his first tapestry, Joie de Vivre, and two ceiling paintings, Life Burst, 1964, now in the Newcastle Art Gallery, New South Wales, and Sea Sun and Five Bells, 1964. The same year of 1965 saw Rupert Murdoch commission another, King Sun with its burst of life-giving energy. The exhibition was received with great acclaim. Daniel Thomas, writing in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph was tempted to call it 'the show of the year'.2 The Sydney Morning Herald reported 'a new height of achievement for Olsen'; and James Gleeson described his paintings as glowing with 'an uninhibited acceptance of life', paintings that 'sing and shout and exult in the joy of living.' He added, 'He drinks everything in through all his senses.'3 Olsen was on a creative high, producing some of his finest works to which one responds with the same enthusiasm with which they are imbued.1. Entrance to the Siren City of the Rat Race, 1963, on loan to Macquarie University, Sydney2. Sunday Telegraph, Sydney, 25 April 19653. Sydney Morning Herald, 21 April 1965, p. 15; and Gleeson, J., Sun-Herald, Sydney, 25 April 1965, p. 76 DAVID THOMAS

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BRETT WHITELEY 1939 - 1992, SYDNEY WINTER, 1980, oil and mixed media on canvas

Lot 15: BRETT WHITELEY 1939 - 1992, SYDNEY WINTER, 1980, oil and mixed media on canvas

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Description: BRETT WHITELEY 1939 - 1992, SYDNEY WINTER, 1980, oil and mixed media on canvasSIGNED: signed lower left: Whiteley signed, dated and inscribed verso: 'SYDNEY WINTER' / brett whiteley 80DIMENSIONS: 51.0 x 78.5 cm (diptych)PROVENANCE: Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney Private collection, Sydney, acquired from the above in 1986ESSAY: Brett Whiteley returned to Sydney in November 1969 with his wife Wendy and their little girl Arkie after almost ten years in London, Europe, America and Asia. They settled in a white three story house in Walker Street, Lavender Bay overlooking the harbour through the fig trees and frangipani.1 The views from the windows of the sitting room were picturesque and uninterrupted reaching out to the arch of the Harbour Bridge and its rusticated pylons. In 1974 the Whiteleys purchased the Lavender Bay house and the artist began one of his most adored and diverse series of works - the Lavender Bay Series. It was a subject he would return to often in numerous media, evoking the many dramatic weather changes experienced on the harbour, from azure blue days, starry nights and grey days thick with rain. Sydney Winterof 1980 is one of the rain meditations, the palette of which is born of those smoky abstract works painted in London during the early 1960s.2 Whiteley was fascinated with the effects of rain and wind on the harbour and he painted a number of works depicting rainy Sydney days including Lavender Bay in the Rain, 1974 (private collection) and the well known 1987 lithograph of the same title, which depicts the jetty below the house through the palm trees with the same characteristic palette of soft grey and white. In Sydney Winter, the Harbour Bridge is seen through a veil of rain and appears like an apparition in the top right corner of the work. Here the yachts and watercraft are left moored in the rain awaiting fair-weather days and a few solitary seagulls retreat into the distance towards the Bridge 1. McGrath, S., Brett Whiteley, Bay Books, Sydney, 1992, p. 99 2. A critical example of these works is Untitled Red Painting, 1960, Tate Gallery, London, which started its life as a 'white' painting and then evolved into a rosy taupe palette, highlighted with creams.

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JOHN COBURN 1925 - 2006, LANDSCAPE OF DESIRE, 1986, oil on canvas

Lot 16: JOHN COBURN 1925 - 2006, LANDSCAPE OF DESIRE, 1986, oil on canvas

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Description: JOHN COBURN 1925 - 2006, LANDSCAPE OF DESIRE, 1986, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed and dated lower right: Coburn '86 dated and inscribed verso: JOHN COBURN / LANDSCAPE OF DESIRE (OIL) / 1986DIMENSIONS: 137.0 x 183.0 cmLITERATURE: Amadio, N., John Coburn: Paintings, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1988, p. 204PROVENANCE: Solander Gallery, Canberra Private collection, Sydney, acquired from the above c1994ESSAY: Renowned for his abstract portrayals of the Australian landscape and the seasons, using geometric forms contrasted against flat planes, John Coburn is one of Australia's most recognisable artists. In Landscape of Desire, 1986, Coburn utilises colour and his distinctive motifs to depict a vibrant and harmonious landscape. Fusing balance and asymmetry to create spatial coherence, the circular and angular forms appear to move up and across the canvas, suggesting life and vitality. In this painting, Coburn allows the viewer to consider their own landscape of desire through the ambiguous forms, unrestricted by his distinctive iconography. '... I like all my shapes to be ambiguous so that people can read into them what they like. It happens with all art, doesn't it? I mean, even with realism people can read other things into it. There is often symbolism behind what is visually depicted. I don't mind what interpretation people place on it even if they misconstrue my original intentions. In fact I quite like that: I think that's all part of my work.'1Coburn's early childhood was spent in the north of Queensland. The lush rainforests and gardens of his youth provided a strong connection to the Australian environment, resonating throughout his career. Coburn's depictions of the 'land' are allegorical and sensory visions that evoke strong emotions from his audience and are therefore somewhat similar to the deep connection embodied between Aboriginal artists and their illustrations of the land. On some level Coburn, like Aboriginal artists, always connects his work to his country both as a physical place and as a spiritual landscape.2Coburn was a true master of colour, contrasting light against dark, primary against secondary and warm against cool. Employing a theory of colour, his works are saturated with emotion and the celebration of life as evident in Landscape of Desire. The strong red background indicates energy and passion, while the contrasting colours of blue and green allude to another of Coburn's favoured themes; renewal. Drawing upon masters such as Henri Matisse and the American Expressionist painter Mark Rothko, Coburn explored the nature of colour and its effect on human emotion. Like Rothko, Coburn believed his works needed to be experienced on a higher level than a mere visual encounter. As Lou Klepac discusses 'Colour is not inert, it is vibration. In special combinations it creates something like a chemical reaction: the result becomes dynamic and electrifying.'31. John Coburn quoted in Klepac, L., John Coburn: The Spirit of Colour, The Beagle Press, Sydney, 2003, p. 1042. Amadio, N., John Coburn: Paintings, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1988, p. 73. Klepac, op cit., p. 15 CASSI YOUNG

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WILLIAM ROBINSON born 1936, FARMYARD, 1982, oil on canvas

Lot 17: WILLIAM ROBINSON born 1936, FARMYARD, 1982, oil on canvas

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Description: WILLIAM ROBINSON born 1936, FARMYARD, 1982, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed lower right: William RobinsonDIMENSIONS: 124.5 x 186.0 cmEXHIBITED: William Robinson: Paintings, Ray Hughes Gallery, Brisbane, 10-23 September 1982LITERATURE: Hammond, V., 'William Robinson: the viewfinder', Art and Australia, vol. 37, no. 4, 2000, p. 542 (illus., as 'Untitled, 1984')PROVENANCE: Ray Hughes Gallery, Brisbane Institutional collection, Sydney, acquired 1982ESSAY: William Robinson's place in the canon of Australian landscape painting is secure. Apart from regular forays into the Archibald Prize, which he won in 1987 and 1995, his subject has been his immediate environment; domestic interiors, his family hobby farm and on to the greater landscape of his native south east Queensland.The Farmyards, as they are known, represented a departure for Robinson from his earlier formative work. The Bonnard inspired interiors which he exhibited in Brisbane through the 1970's gave way to this new body of work, Farmyard Constructions. The paintings took on an inspired urgency and became the subject of several solo exhibitions at Brisbane's Ray Hughes Gallery between 1978 and 1985. The works were eagerly acquired by a loyal coterie of collectors who seemingly had been in wait for such a development in Robinson's work. Two works from this period In the House Yard, 1985 and Dawn, 1986 were purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and this added to interest in the artist which by now was growing quickly.The Farmyard paintings offer a fascinating insight into the artist's development. The twisting and distorting of the forms hint at what was to come - even a goat's ability to climb and stand atop the farmyard detritus introduces the notion of contrary compositional structures. Similarly when the dams or waterholes first appeared in Robinson farmyard paintings, through the reflection of the surrounding animals, trees and clouds the water became the pictorial device that allowed Robinson to break from the convention of the horizontal horizon and move it to any part of the picture plane.In these paintings Robinson quietly and meticulously developed his unique perspective on the landscape. In many ways the farmyards are closer to the still life genre than landscape, because the artist is able to treat the subject as he would a still life by arranging and rearranging the elements according to his intuition. The ground becomes the table top and the cows, goats and chooks take the place of traditional still life elements.'It could be almost an arrangement of bottles or apples on a plate; the same sort of systems and rules apply. One of the interesting things that I developed while drawing and painting interiors prior to these works was my use of the frame's edge - I would have things just coming in or just going out of the picture frame. These pictures gave me great scope for that - things coming in, or coming down and moving in one way or another.'1This major work is a quintessential example of Robinson's seminal farmyard paintings - substantial, experimental, and crucial to the development of Robinson's oeuvre. As the artist says, 'I find these paintings terribly interesting now, but in a way they shouldn't have ever been because they're so unlikely. I suppose I was experimenting at this point with the reality of thick paint. It is something that a photograph can never really capture - substance. Substance is important in a painting.'21. Robinson, W., The Farmyards, William Robinson Gallery, Q.U.T, Brisbane, 2014, p. 212. Ibid. HENRY MULHOLLAND

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JOHN KELLY born 1965, 1/2 PAINTED COW ON TRESTLES, 1994, oil on linen

Lot 18: JOHN KELLY born 1965, 1/2 PAINTED COW ON TRESTLES, 1994, oil on linen

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Description: JOHN KELLY born 1965, 1/2 PAINTED COW ON TRESTLES, 1994, oil on linenSIGNED: signed and dated lower right: Klly 94 dated and inscribed verso: (13) 1/2 PAINTED COW ON / TRESTLES / 1994DIMENSIONS: 102.0 x 167.5 cmPROVENANCE: Niagara Galleries, Melbourne (label attached verso) Private collection, SydneyESSAY: John Kelly was born in Bristol, educated in Australia, and now resides in Ireland. As an artist his work is deeply affected by Australian art, culture, and colonial history, and in particular the work of 1940s Modernist painters such as Sidney Nolan and William Dobell.Kelly's early works are populated by abstract representations of animals; zebras, horses, and above all, the black and white cow. His now renowned 'Dobell's Cow' series consumed the artist's attention for five years, from 1991 to 1996, during which he recreated his cow protagonist countless times through both painting and sculpture.The source of his inspiration is manifold, but came largely from Kelly's discovery that during World War Two, government officials engaged artists including William Dobell to create life-size papier-mâché animals and place them in fields to confuse Japanese pilots about the location of Australian military bases. Delighted by the humour and absurdity of this proposition, Kelly began to paint the bloated, block-like papier-mâché forms of Friesian cows.At university Kelly studied the concept of simulacrum - ' "something having merely the appearance of a certain thing without possessing its substance or proper qualities" and throughout history it has been a way of imitating, defying and deceiving perception'1 - and this research compounded his interest in the use of camouflage and optical trickery during wartime. There is a kind of visual pun, an optical illusion to Kelly's iconic depictions of cows. As viewer we recognise a resemblance in shapes and colours, but they are not quite what they seem. They are at once real and surreal, playful and sober.Drawing also from Dobell's infamous portrait of the artist Joshua Smith that was initially denigrated as no more than caricature, Kelly continues Dobell's stylistic predilection, painting his cow subject with an absurdly 'long spindly neck, small head, and a certain air of wonder'.2 Composed of patterned blocks of colour within big rectangular bodies, they appear in bizarre compositions; stacked vertically, precariously balanced, suspended upside down in the branches of a tree or, in our image, held up by trestles. The decision to leave our cow half-painted can be seen as both a call-back to Dobell's hand-crafted cows of war, but also to the idea of the artist as a creator of reality, mapping out an artificial experience of the world, his very own trompe l'oeil.1. Lindsay, R., John Kelly: Deconstructing Australia, McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, Victoria, 2006, p. 62. Hammond, V., Cow up a Tree, July 1999, manuscript viewed 21 March 2014 LEAH CROSSMAN

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LIN ONUS 1948 - 1996, BUTTERFLIES, SHERBROOKE FOREST, c1994, synthetic polymer paint on compressed card

Lot 19: LIN ONUS 1948 - 1996, BUTTERFLIES, SHERBROOKE FOREST, c1994, synthetic polymer paint on compressed card

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Description: LIN ONUS 1948 - 1996, BUTTERFLIES, SHERBROOKE FOREST, c1994, synthetic polymer paint on compressed cardSIGNED: signed lower right: Lin OnusDIMENSIONS: 50.0 x 38.0 cmPROVENANCE: Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne Private collection, PerthESSAY: I kind of hope ... that history may see me as some sort of bridge ... between ... cultures, between technology and ideas.'1Born in 1948 of Yorta Yorta and Scottish descent, Lin Onus remains acclaimed today as a 'man ahead of his time', exploring through his art the personal, public and political fundamentals of reconciliation. Straddling dualistic perspectives - one Western and representational, the other Aboriginal and spiritual - Onus thus enjoyed the freedom to absorb a diverse range of influences, subverting Western perceptions of indigenous art with subtlety and sophistication. Indeed, occupying what anthropologist Levi Strauss defines as that 'in-between' space between multiple worlds, Onus was afforded the rare opportunity 'to glimpse through many slightly ajar doors' - paradoxically belonging everywhere, and nowhere. As Margo Neale elaborates in the catalogue accompanying the artist's retrospective at Queensland Art Gallery in 2000, 'his works are like the tales of a roving storyteller or mythmaker.'2Inheriting the revolutionary spirit of his father, Bill Onus, who was the founder of the Aboriginal Advancement League in Victoria and a prominent creator of Aboriginal-inspired tourist artefacts near Upwey, it was inevitable that during his early years Onus too would become a strident activist in the political debate on issues of native title and equal opportunity. Perhaps most renowned was Onus's protest in 1971 in the Dandenong Ranges, specifically the Sherbrooke Forest - a lush rainforest landscape, rich in fern-filled gullies and native fauna, from which the present work derives its inspiration. Staged in the wake of the Victorian Government's Aboriginal Lands Act 1970 which returned land to Aboriginal communities at Framlingham and Lake Tyers, the protest involved Onus camping in the forest for three months and vowing to remain there until the Aboriginal claim to the land was recognised. Although the demonstration ended prematurely, the incident not only succeeded in highlighting the issue of land rights to a wider audience but, importantly, served as the impetus for Onus's painting career - with the ever non-confrontational figure realising that he could communicate his messages more powerfully through the medium of art. Arguably most influential upon Onus's artistic evolution however, was the relationship he fostered in Arnhem Land with the highly esteemed Aboriginal painter who became his adoptive father and mentor, Jack Wunuwun. Inspired by the older artist's bark painting techniques such as rarrk (cross-hatched designs), Onus subsequently embraced a truly unique style of landscape painting which, rich in reflections and ambiguities, substituted the traditional European panoramic view for one described by his mentor Wunuwun as 'seeing below the surface.' Evocative of Wunuwun, thus the present Butterflies, Sherbrooke Forest, c1994 features the 'Aboriginalising' of native fauna with the butterflies unmistakably rendered in the colours and techniques of Aboriginal painting. In the same vein as his monumental landscape, Bunpa near Malwan, 1992 populated with similarly adorned butterflies, and more explicitly, Hovering til the Rains Come, 1995 where stingrays are literally 'out of water' traveling across the land in search of waterholes, Onus here suggests an iconography of displacement, with the Aboriginal markings on the butterflies offering just enough ambivalence to disrupt any simple reception of the painting based upon its otherwise 'realist' representation. Both mesmerisingly beautiful and multifaceted in its meaning, indeed the work illustrates well Onus's desire to create an art that could be appreciated on numerous levels by everyone; as Neale suggests, elucidating the deeper significance of such works, '... they are deceptively picturesque, for things are not always what they seem. Laden with crosscultural references, visual deceits, totemic relationships and a sense of displacement, they, amongst other things, challenge one's viewing position.'31. Lin Onus, artist statement, 1990 cited in Neale, M., Urban Dingo: The Art of Lin Onus 1948-1996, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 20002. ibid., p. 183. Neale, M., Lin Onus, exhibition catalogue, Savill Galleries, Melbourne, 2003, p. 1? VERONICA ANGELATOS

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TIM MAGUIRE born 1958, UNTITLED 99U51, 1999, oil on canvas

Lot 20: TIM MAGUIRE born 1958, UNTITLED 99U51, 1999, oil on canvas

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Description: TIM MAGUIRE born 1958, UNTITLED 99U51, 1999, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed, dated and titled verso: Maguire '99 / Untitled 99U51DIMENSIONS: 200.0 x 400.0 cm (diptych)EXHIBITED: Tim Maguire, Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland Summer Exhibition Part I, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney, 14 November - 8 December 2013LITERATURE: Murray Cree, L., (ed.), Tim Maguire, Piper Press, Sydney, 2007, pp. 170, 172-173 (illus. pp. 172-173, double page)PROVENANCE: Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland Zurich Insurance, Zurich, Switzerland (label attached verso)ESSAY: Lustrous berries fill the diptych canvas with their finely illuminated forms, created through the accrual of chromatically separated layers deftly painted by Tim Maguire. The present work is exemplary in showing the way a detailed cluster of berries becomes dramatised in unexpected ways under the artist's direction. Shapes loom and hover with filmic radiance. The solvent-flecked canvas seemingly glows with a perplexing translucence. Maguire states, 'My paintings, as much as they expose themselves, their process and so on, are rather flat, shiny and a bit repellent. The imagery is unnatural ... the flowers might be about nature but they're not really natural.'1Maguire digitally dissolves his photographic source imagery into separate colour fields that he uses as templates for the painting process. The artist resolved this unusual technique in the 1990s, resulting in distinctive and compelling paintings. Tony Godfrey writes, 'The goal for a serious painter today is to make work that is simultaneously embedded in the tradition of painting while engaging with the contemporary world. This Tim Maguire does. His light is unique in that while seeming so contemporary, so scientific, it draws on and deploys the whole range of light - and our responses to it - in Western art.'2The berries, appearing like the apparition of sunspots across a photograph, are both instantly recognisable yet removed from their fleshy actuality. The almost erotic nature of Maguire's botanical close ups stems from this tantalising aspect; the paintings in both their making and realised state pivot around ideas of desire and distillation. Maguire has received international recognition for his original approach in representing traditional motifs and his work is found in important public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Art Gallery of New South Wales,Sydney, and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Maguire was awarded the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 1989 and the Moët & Chandon Australian Art Fellowship in 1993.1. Murray Cree, L. (ed.), Tim Maguire, Piper Press, Sydney, 2007, p. 1342. Godfrey, T., 'Light, Skin and Beauty' in Murray Cree, L., (ed.), Tim Maguire, Piper Press, Sydney, 2007, p. 28 AMY MARJORAM

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TIM STORRIER born 1949, EVENING BLAZE, synthetic polymer paint and rope on canvas

Lot 21: TIM STORRIER born 1949, EVENING BLAZE, synthetic polymer paint and rope on canvas

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Description: TIM STORRIER born 1949, EVENING BLAZE, synthetic polymer paint and rope on canvasSIGNED: signed lower right: StorrierDIMENSIONS: 76.5 x 183.0 cmPROVENANCE: Private collection, United Kingdom United Galleries, Sydney Private collection, SydneyESSAY: When Tim Storrier first strung a piece of rope between two poles and set it alight, he had no idea that he was opening a creative seam that would sustain his work for decades: a seam rich in concepts and images relating to the distance between two points and the rope as a defining and tensioning device between these points.'1With its sublime beauty and disorienting juxtaposition of real and surreal, Evening Blaze encapsulates well the highly individual evocations of nature that have brought Tim Storrier such widespread acclaim. Fascinated by the concept of the seemingly endless horizon - and particularly, that exciting point where horizon meets the sky - during the eighties, Storrier began experimenting with three dimensional constructions of wire, rope and steel which he would install in remote locations and subsequently ignite, capturing the entire dramatic event on cibachrome film. Deriving their impetus primarily from these 'performances', the 'point to point' paintings which ensued thus explore an iconic image whose atmospheric resonance differs widely depending upon the time of day or night.Concerned with the elements of light, action and stillness, Storrier here merges the real and imagined to construct a highly personal landscape imbued with the 'myth of the outback'; as he muses, 'The idea of those horizons is something I still find challenging and rather wonderful. But again it is my view; it is not the reality of the farmer or the people that live there. It is a mythical quotient that had probably gone. As with Delacroix's Death of Sardanapalous, the painting is a myth.'2 Drawing upon memory and intuition to forge a potent symbol of place, indeed Storrier has been compared to artists such as Streeton and Roberts who fused the actuality of the Australian bush with a sense of poetry, and Nolan and Drysdale who, realising the Australian outback as a vast and uncompromising landscape, pursued theatrical possibilities for creating a distinct and identifiable consciousness.3 In his contemplation of the relative insignificance of humankind vis a vis the awesome magnitude of the natural world, Storrier's art also bears strong affinities with the European tradition of romantic landscape painting, and specifically, Constable and Turner with their 'great big skies, endless horizons and the air you can cut with a knife - thick with moisture'.41. Murray Cree, L., Dust and Ashes, Sherman Galleries, Sydney, 20032. Storrier cited in Hart, D., 'The Australian Context: Real and Imagined', Tim Storrier: Burning of the Gifts, Australian Galleries, Sydney, 1989, p. 193. Hart, ibid., p. 184. Hart, ibid., p. 19 VERONICA ANGELATOS

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CLEMENT MEADMORE 1929 - 2005, UNTITLED (WALL SCULPTURE), c1956, welded steel

Lot 22: CLEMENT MEADMORE 1929 - 2005, UNTITLED (WALL SCULPTURE), c1956, welded steel

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Description: CLEMENT MEADMORE 1929 - 2005, UNTITLED (WALL SCULPTURE), c1956, welded steelDIMENSIONS: 69.0 x 193.0 x 29.5 cmPROVENANCE: The Crebbin Collection, Sydney Thence by descent Private collection, SydneyESSAY: Born and educated in Melbourne, Clement Meadmore remains one of Australia's foremost expatriate sculptors. Studying Aeronautical Design and Industrial Design at RMIT, his original focus on furniture design led to a personal investigation into contemporary sculpture in the mid 1950s. The present work on offer is a rare, large scale wall-sculpture made in Melbourne during this important early period. As Eric Gibson, former Art Critic of the Washington (D.C.) Times, writes in his monograph on Meadmore, 'Prefiguring his later inclinations, Meadmore's first sculptures alternate between a rigorous geometry and a simmering expressionism ... They give no inkling that Meadmore is an artist who would eventually favour a robust physicality in his work. All, particularly the gridded rods, are as nearly diaphanous and self effacingly insubstantial as steel sculptures can be, as if Meadmore wished to suggest form not built up by accretion but eaten away by light.'1These initial textural works gave way to heavier, grounded pieces composed of succinct visual forms that became the oversized public sculptures for which the artist is renowned. Yet, the central formal tenet is consistent; depicting metal mass as energised and balanced forms with a surprising quality of lightness. 'This sense of weightlessness is Meadmore's greatest achievement, especially in light of the substance and earth-bound demands of his materials ... It is the poetic lift and the unlikely defiance of their weighty materials that continues to intoxicate his admirers.21. Gibson, E., The Sculpture of Clement Meadmore, Hudson Hills Press, New York, 1994, p. 112. Gibson, P., 'Clement Meadmore: Nuanced notes and steady rhythms', Australian Art Review, Issue 24, August - October 2010, pp. 30-31 AMY MARJORAM

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TONY TUCKSON 1921 - 1973, TP 224, 1958-61, oil on composition board

Lot 23: TONY TUCKSON 1921 - 1973, TP 224, 1958-61, oil on composition board

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Description: TONY TUCKSON 1921 - 1973, TP 224, 1958-61, oil on composition boardDIMENSIONS: 122.0 x 92.0 cmEXHIBITED: Tony Tuckson: Paintings, Pinacotheca, Melbourne, 18 October - 4 November 1989, cat. 2 (illus. p. 6 in exhibition catalogue)PROVENANCE: Watters Gallery, Sydney (label attached verso) Private collection, BrisbaneESSAY: Tony Tuckson's paintings call upon a creativity enriched and sophisticated by his curatorial activities at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. As deputy director, he pioneered the gallery's superb collection of Australian Aboriginal and Melanesian art, then one of the finest in Australia, showing an empathy with it that had a profound influence on his own art. Yet, while influences may readily be traced to Aboriginal and European art, Tuckson was above all his own man, much of the quality of his art coming from this individuality. Reluctant to talk about his work, parallels have to be found elsewhere. Writing in the book, Australian Aboriginal Art published in 1964, Tuckson said art '... is subjective, symbolic, based on knowledge rather than visual appearances'.1 Furthermore, he believed that 'Content and form are fused by the intuitive processes of the artist', the intuitive being the way we must approach his art.2 His painting is to do with painting - the way the paint is applied, the sweep or gesture of the brush, the run or dribble, the presentation and morphing of form and colour, and so on. The way the ground shows through the painted surface, as in our painting, can add a depth or warmth that is integral to the work, as is the emotional power, inner tensions balanced or explosive, drama held in the net of the neutral blacks and whites. The absence of colour is like an understatement that says all.Energy and passion predominate with an emotive appeal that is as captivating as it is challenging. It offers the very best in Abstract Expressionism - international as well as within Australia. The viewer is also drawn to admire the innate craftsmanship of the artist, by the way in which control is exercised during the emotional explosion of the painting's creation. Inventively powerful, the picture plane receives its due attention, while depths are conjured up through clever illusion.1. Tuckson, J.A., 'Aboriginal Art and the Western World', Australian Aboriginal Art, Ure Smith, Sydney, 1964, p. 64, quoted in McGrath, S., 'Tony Tuckson', Art and Australia, Sydney, vol. 12, no. 2, October-December 1974, p. 1642. Tuckson, quoted in Thomas, D., 'An Introduction to Tony Tuckson, 1921-1973', in Thomas, D., Free, R., and Legge, G., Tony Tuckson, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1989, p. 28 DAVID THOMAS

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KEN WHISSON born 1927, GREEN MAN, TREE AND CHAIR, 1974, oil and enamel on composition board

Lot 24: KEN WHISSON born 1927, GREEN MAN, TREE AND CHAIR, 1974, oil and enamel on composition board

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Description: KEN WHISSON born 1927, GREEN MAN, TREE AND CHAIR, 1974, oil and enamel on composition boardSIGNED: dated and inscribed verso: 31 MAY 1974 / ... "GREEN MAN / TREE AND CHAIR" ...DIMENSIONS: 81.0 x 108.0 cmEXHIBITED: Ken Whisson: As If, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Heide, 17 March - 15 July 2012, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 28 September - 25 November 2012LITERATURE: Ken Whisson Paintings 1947-1999, Niagara Publishing, Melbourne, 2001, pp. 42, 120 (illus. p. 42) Barkley G., and Harding, L., Ken Whisson: As If, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2012, cat. 75, pp. 6-7, [81], 153 (illus.)PROVENANCE: Ray Hughes Gallery, Brisbane (inscribed by artist verso) Esa Jaske, Sydney Private collection, BrisbaneESSAY: My paintings have a much better memory than I do for the things I've seen ... a much clearer memory, they seem to remember a lot of things that I don't remember.'Fundamental to the highly enigmatic, gestural form of abstraction for which Ken Whisson has become renowned is the premise that art should be produced with intuitive spontaneity. As illuminated in his lecture on 'Technique and Intuition' at the Ballarat Art School in 1994, Whisson believes artistic creation reaches its zenith in the moment where the artist's conscious eyes and mind are totally surprised by what the brush has intuitively produced: '... By not looking at your own work you don't lose the thread of development, the ideas and developments come back from that dark pile of hidden paintings in a way that they will not come back if you look at them and wonder about them, have doubts, or worse, let them seduce you into thinking that what you have already done is your style and way of painting.'1Interestingly, this honest and unpretentious approach to painting has resulted in a truly sophisticated, complex visual language that exerts increasingly compelling appeal on the viewer. Oscillating between figuration and abstraction, images from the artist's memory typically emerge upon his canvas in the manner of a discontinuous slideshow where planes and objects are simultaneously established and disrupted. Thus, forms that initially seemed disordered and unrelated, floating in spatial ambiguity, gradually become recognisable to create a visually dynamic arrangement that encourages '... the viewer to see with the eye of the mind rather than expecting a perfect match between an object and its representation.'2Like the celebrated Disembarkation for Cythera (Idiot Wind), 1976 and Jean's Farm, 1975 (both in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra), the present Green Man, Tree and Chair, 1974 belongs to the artist's arguably most original and highly coveted period in which he immortalises aspects of his daily experience of living in St Kilda, Melbourne during the 1970s. Characterised by brighter, fresher colours, more confidently sculpted forms and a whimsical sense of space that imbues a certain playfulness to his work, indeed it was this chapter of his oeuvre which importantly established Whisson's reputation as 'an artist's artist'.1. Whisson, K., 'Talk 1994' reproduced in Ken Whisson: Paintings 1947-1999, Niagara Publishing, Melbourne, 2001, p. 432. McDonald, J., 'Introduction', cited ibid., p. 9 VERONICA ANGELATOS

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KEN WHISSON born 1927, FROM THE NEWSPAPERS NO. 2, 1998, oil on linen

Lot 25: KEN WHISSON born 1927, FROM THE NEWSPAPERS NO. 2, 1998, oil on linen

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Description: KEN WHISSON born 1927, FROM THE NEWSPAPERS NO. 2, 1998, oil on linenSIGNED: signed, dated and inscribed verso: Ken Whisson / 12/4/98 & 30/5/98 / 31/5/95 & 5/6/98 / "From the Newspapers No. 2" ...DIMENSIONS: 90.0 x 119.5 cmEXHIBITED: Ken Whisson: As If, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Heide, 17 March - 15 July 2012, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 28 September - 25 November 2012LITERATURE: Barkley G., and Harding, L., Ken Whisson: As If, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2012, cat. 147, pp. [92], 159 (illus., as 'From the Newspapers No. 1')PROVENANCE: Niagara Galleries, Melbourne (label attached verso) Private collection, BrisbaneESSAY: Although previously overlooked or marginalised as an 'outsider' within the annals of Australian art, today Whisson is universally celebrated as one of the most important and unconventional artists of our time. Based in Perugia, Italy since 1977, during his early years Whisson was a peripheral member of the group including Nolan, Boyd and Tucker who immersed themselves in the cultural ferment of the forties with John and Sunday Reed at Heide. Notably, he also studied with Cossack émigré artist Danila Vassilieff, under whose tutelage the younger artist not only embraced a predominantly expressionistic figurative style but gleaned a lifelong commitment to anarchism and non-conformity. Yet despite such seminal influences, the highly personal and unique vision that so distinguishes his mature work deliberately eludes affinity with any other artist or school. Rather, 'intuition' is the critical guiding force for Whisson, unleashing the creative impulse without prejudice or preconception to engage with a more fundamental reality. As the artist elucidates, 'style as presupposition blocks creativity ... art is far too complex to be thought and has to come from a whole complex of intuitive processes, from an intuitive focussing of memories, ideas, emotions, including seed and new beginnings left somewhere in the mind from past work. It comes from a focussing of all the different levels of consciousness.'1Inextricably linked is Whisson's fervent belief that an artist 'must continually reinvent himself if he is to remain creatively fresh, thereby avoiding the pattern of a brief flowering and slow decline that has been the fate of so many well-known Australian painters.'2 Rejecting notions of skill or style 'that close one down', he reiterates that he has spent his entire life trying to 'avoid good technique' and to maintain 'a blank mind for a blank canvas'.3 Encapsulating this pursuit of an art that is ever-evolving and far from predictable is the present composition which belongs to the surprisingly naturalistic series 'From the Newspapers', executed between 1998 and 2006. Featuring snapshots sourced from the Italian left-wing newspaper Il Manifesto, the work is punctuated with reportage-like images of battleships, helicopters and other emblems of a world at war. Indeed, while most commentators have tended to focus upon the expressive and formalistic peculiarities of his achievement, works such as From the Newspapers No. 2, 1998 powerfully highlight another dimension to Whisson's art - its connection with contemporary conditions and perceptions, inspired by the artist's enduring sense of deep social and political engagement with the world in which he lives.1. Whisson, K., 'Technique and Intuition, Talk 1994' reproduced in Ken Whisson: Paintings 1947-1999, Niagara Publishing, Melbourne, 2001, p. 432. McDonald, J., 'Ken Whisson: Matter and Memory', cited ibid., p. 83. Whisson cited in Ken Whisson: Paintings 1957-1985, Broken Hill City Art Gallery, New South Wales, 1987, p. 18 VERONICA ANGELATOS

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BRETT WHITELEY 1939 - 1992, JULY 2 1975 RAINY DAY - ALL DAY, 1975, ink and collage on paper

Lot 26: BRETT WHITELEY 1939 - 1992, JULY 2 1975 RAINY DAY - ALL DAY, 1975, ink and collage on paper

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Description: BRETT WHITELEY 1939 - 1992, JULY 2 1975 RAINY DAY - ALL DAY, 1975, ink and collage on paperSIGNED: signed, dated and inscribed lower right: artist's studio stamp / July 2, 75 and monogram / 'rainy day / all day / brett whiteleyDIMENSIONS: 162.0 x 89.5 cmEXHIBITED: Brett Whiteley, Thirty six looks at four sights on three themes, recent paintings, drawings and carvings, Bonython Gallery, Sydney, 24 October - 15 November 1975, cat. 14PROVENANCE: Bonython Gallery, Sydney Private collection, Sydney, acquired from the above in 1975 Lawsons, Sydney, 12 December 1993, lot 192 Private collection, Melbourne Sotheby's, Melbourne, 11 April 2006, lot 31 Private collection, QueenslandESSAY: Using the window as a frame, Brett Whiteley invites the viewer to gaze out onto the lush gardens and the wilting trees that are being drenched by the rain. Buildings line the horizon while a glimpse of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is offered in the top right corner. July 2 1975 Rainy Day - All Day, 1975 is a particularly important picture for the artist, being a large and ambitious work on paper that made reference to Whiteley's life in Sydney. Whiteley returned to Australia in 1969 after nine years abroad and, after initially renting the top floor of the Lavender Bay property, in 1974 he and his wife Wendy purchased the house with panoramic views of Sydney Harbour, finding inspiration through 'the stunning harbour views in all their variation of mood and tone through the windows ...'1 Whiteley went on to paint this scene a year later, replacing the rain with a sunlit glow in striking hues of gold and blue, titled Park under sunlight, 1976 (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne), once more utilising the window as a divide between the viewer and the exterior.The window became a significant three-dimensional tool for Whiteley upon his return to Australia, creating a tangible object for the viewer to grasp. The picture on offer was exhibited at Whiteley's solo exhibition at Bonython Gallery in Sydney, 1975, along with seventeen other 'windowscapes'. The windowscapes dominated this solo show, comprising exactly half of the exhibition, which was divided into three categories: Windows, the River and Nudes. The central painting of this exhibition was Henri's Armchair, 1975, an important window scene. Providing an insight into Whiteley's psyche, this painting quotes Matisse's desire for a pure and serene art form 'devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which might be something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue'.2Whiteley's first years in Lavender Bay signified the beginning of one of his greatest periods, an art form concerned with the 'concept of beauty, with sumptuous, glorious pictures celebrating the harbour and the birds, and the table tops too'.3 There were of course hints of his inner turmoil, such as escape routes plotted by ships as they coursed their way across the harbour, and the heavy rain and dark monotones of July 2 1975 Rainy Day - All Day evoke a poignant emotion. It was here at Lavender Bay that Whiteley found a somewhat uneasy peace; a reconnection with Australia that was shadowed by his tumultuous private life. Wendy Whiteley recalls the joy of returning home; 'In a sense Lavender Bay was Brett's return to paradise, having come from a very anxious situation - and it is paradise'.4 In the years that followed, Whiteley achieved great success as the winner of the Archibald Prize and Sir John Sulman Prize in 1976, the Wynne Prize in 1977, and all three in 1978. 1. Pearce, B., 'Persona and the Painter', in Pearce, B., Brett Whiteley: Art and Life, Thames and Hudson, Melbourne, 1995, p. 35 2. McGrath, S., Brett Whiteley, Bay Books, Sydney, 1979, p. 180 3. Wendy Whiteley, interviewed by Barry Pearce, 'Recollections', in Pearce, B., Brett Whiteley: Art and Life, Thames and Hudson, Melbourne, 1995, p. 48 4. ibid. CASSI YOUNG

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MARGARET OLLEY 1923 - 2011, MARIGOLDS AND PRICKLY PEARS, c1978, oil on composition board

Lot 27: MARGARET OLLEY 1923 - 2011, MARIGOLDS AND PRICKLY PEARS, c1978, oil on composition board

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Description: MARGARET OLLEY 1923 - 2011, MARIGOLDS AND PRICKLY PEARS, c1978, oil on composition boardSIGNED: signed lower left: OlleyDIMENSIONS: 76.0 x 101.5 cmPROVENANCE: Solander Gallery, Canberra Institutional collection, Sydney, acquired 1980ESSAY: There is a certain nonchalance to this still-life painting as a pair of scissors sits casually on a table next to a vase of rustic marigolds, a bowl of prickly pears and a small urn. We can envisage Margaret Olley returning from her sun-drenched garden and trimming the stems of the flowers before placing them in the vase. Despite the relaxed mood of this picture, her arrangement of the objects is a deliberate and precise act. Olley is a master of spatial placement, a device she acquired from her days working in the theatre, experiencing firsthand the significance of space. As she watched the actors enter the stage and wait twenty seconds before they spoke their lines, Olley was struck by the space that each actor created.1 This 'orchestration' is evident in all of her paintings as each object possesses its own personal atmosphere, proportionate to the composition and as actors of her stage.Olley is renowned for her still-life and interior scenes that reveal her pure delight, as each petal is painted with the same deference as she would paint a human figure. Flowers were a particular favourite of Olley's, 'I can feel for flowers as I can for people. Painting flowers is almost like painting a portrait. I couldn't care less about them as botanical specimens - in fact I don't know the names of many of the flowers I paint.'2 Casting soft shadows onto the back wall, this is a homely scene taken from Olley's everyday life, as if the viewer has stumbled into her private domain. It has been said many times that Olley's domestic environment was her great inspiration, as her good friend Barry Humphries describes, 'The house is her studio, and its contents are her subject. Her method - seemingly vagrant - is in reality a sophisticated artistic assembly line from which emerge her vibrant tableaux of inanimate things.'3The very warmth of her home emanates from Marigolds and Prickly Pears in a visual feast of texture and colour. As Barry Pearce discusses in the Art Gallery of New South Wales retrospective publication, the viewer garners more than just images of flowers and fruit from Olley's still-life paintings, we are invited into her entire world: 'Darkness and light, fertility and decay, space and time, tragedy and comedy, solitude, camaraderie; all the things we know and imagine about life and humanity can be gathered at her table within the rooms of her world.'41. Pearce, B., Margaret Olley, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1997, p. 142. Olley in The Australian, 10 November 1964 in Pearce, B., Margaret Olley, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1997, p. 763. Humphries, B., 'A Note of Exclamation,' in Pearce, B., Margaret Olley, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1997, p. 84. Pearce, op. cit., p. 21 CASSI YOUNG

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MARGARET OLLEY 1923 - 2011, NEWCASTLE HARBOUR, c1975, oil on composition board

Lot 28: MARGARET OLLEY 1923 - 2011, NEWCASTLE HARBOUR, c1975, oil on composition board

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Description: MARGARET OLLEY 1923 - 2011, NEWCASTLE HARBOUR, c1975, oil on composition boardSIGNED: signed lower right: OlleyDIMENSIONS: 60.5 x 121.5 cmPROVENANCE: Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane Institutional collection, Sydney, acquired 1981ESSAY: Fame for Margaret Olley combined painting with personality. First becoming known as the local La Gioconda, it was 1949 and William Dobell had just been declared winner of the Archibald Prize with his portrait of Olley, bountiful in its perceptive expression of her character. The same time saw another, painted by Russell Drysdale, likewise striking in its individuality.1 It was not until many years later, during 1994-95, that Jeffrey Smart painted his homage, Margaret Olley in the Louvre Museum (collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney), acknowledging the inveterate traveller and art museum visitor. Then there was the living personality - 'Margaret is such a life-enhancing force to so many people ...', wrote Smart.2 And Barry Humphries spoke of her being '... Sydney's most coveted hostess whose dinner parties sparkle in the memories of her friends.'3 Her boundless generosities were legion, all her qualities of personality spilling over into her art. Still as so much of it is in name, her paintings are the very opposite, colourful and full of vivacity. They pulsate with the life-force that was Olley.Given that cloistered subjects and still lifes dominate her art, it is a pleasure to come across a landscape, similarly endowed with the life that her brush brought to all things. 'I used to love painting landscapes and I used to do a lot of it', she once confided. 'But I don't drive; I'm not mechanical ... And the time! so sometimes I'll introduce a landscape into a painting through a window.'4 In 1969 Olley bought some houses in Newcastle, spending time restoring them and painting pictures of the busy harbour scene. The next few years resulted in several related views, especially Rainy Day Newcastle, 1971 and State Dockyards, Newcastle, 1974.5Rainy Day Newcastle and Newcastle Harbour, c1975, taken from a spot on 'The Hill', are close in view, foreground buildings and roofs much the same, a slight move in position resulting in either a long view up the Hunter River, or, in our work, across to the suburb of Stockton. To the right the river flows passed the Nobbys Head into the Pacific Ocean. The play of light on white sails and buildings gives added movement to the scene, sparkling as the sun draws west towards evening and deepening shadows. (Paintings of the view date back to early colonial settlement and the work of Joseph Lycett.) While the panoramic splendour of our painting contrasts with the enclosed interiors and paintings of flowers and fruit, all share busy brushwork and colour inspired by Olley's approach - 'Keep your sense of curiosity and wonder.'6 Art for Olley was a celebration of life.1. Both portraits were painted in 1948, the Dobell portrait being in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.2. Smart, J., 'A tribute', in Pearce, B., Margaret Olley, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1996, p. 113. Humphries, B., 'A note of exclamation', in Pearce, op. cit., p. 94. Olley, M., quoted in Pearce, op. cit., p. 405. Rainy Day Newcastle, 1971, collection of Broken Hill Proprietary Limited, Newcastle; State Dockyards, Newcastle, 1975, Newcastle Art Gallery, New South Wales, gift of Lady Maisie Drysdale 19866. Olley, quoted in Pearce, op. cit., p. 105 DAVID THOMAS

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GARRY SHEAD born 1942, THE VISITANT, 1993, oil on composition board

Lot 29: GARRY SHEAD born 1942, THE VISITANT, 1993, oil on composition board

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Description: GARRY SHEAD born 1942, THE VISITANT, 1993, oil on composition boardSIGNED: signed and dated lower right: Garry Shead 93DIMENSIONS: 122.0 x 152.0 cmEXHIBITED: Garry Shead: Recent Paintings, D.H. Lawrence Series, Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane, June 1993, cat. 2PROVENANCE: Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane Art Galleries Schubert, Queensland (label attached verso) Private collection, SydneyESSAY: The following excerpts are from Grishin, S., Garry Shead: The D.H. Lawrence Paintings, Gordon and Breach Arts International, Sydney, 1993:'Twenty-five years ago, while on a trip to the Sepik Highlands in Papua New Guinea, Garry Shead came across an edition of the letters of D.H. Lawrence. This was in 1968, and the letters, particularly the small handful that Lawrence had written from Australia, struck a strange, yet familiar chord in him.'This first encounter with Lawrence grew into an obsession, so that Garry Shead not only eventually read everything which Lawrence had ever written, but also later studied and re-interpreted many of Lawrence's paintings, and re-traced the author's footsteps to Thirroul, on the south coast near Sydney, where Lawrence had lived with his wife for a couple of months in 1922 and wrote the novel Kangaroo.'In D.H. Lawrence, Garry Shead found not so much a source of inspiration, as a spiritual affinity. When Lawrence described the Australian bush as weird, empty and untrodden, he seemed to express the same feelings that the painter had experienced. There was also a common perception of mysticism, a sense of spiritual awareness, as well as a similar attitude to the celebration of sexuality. Lawrence came as a great reaffirmation of his own convictions, a validation and crystallisation of ideas with which he had struggled for much of his life. It was as if he had found a spiritual mentor, whose fate was somehow mysteriously and inextricable bound up with his own.'1'The artistic statement which Garry Shead makes in the Kangaroo paintings is one of provocative simplicity, wit and dramatic power. As with the Lawrence novel, you are left with the feeling that you have encountered something significant and powerful. In both there is a strong narrative where in a way nothing much happens, but a lot things should happen, and you spend years in your mind seeing them to fruition.'21. Grishin, op. cit., p. 72. ibid., p. 18

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ARTHUR BOYD 1920 - 1999, WIMMERA LANDSCAPE, c1963, oil and tempera on composition board

Lot 30: ARTHUR BOYD 1920 - 1999, WIMMERA LANDSCAPE, c1963, oil and tempera on composition board

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Description: ARTHUR BOYD 1920 - 1999, WIMMERA LANDSCAPE, c1963, oil and tempera on composition boardSIGNED: signed lower right: Arthur BoydDIMENSIONS: 83.5 x 119.5 cmPROVENANCE: Rudy Komon Gallery, Sydney Private collection, SydneyESSAY: The following excerpts are from Pearce, B., Arthur Boyd: Retrospective, The Beagle Press in association with the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1993:'Boyd soon felt the urge to go well outside his circumscribed world. In the summer of 1948-49 he accompanied Jack Stephenson, a poet, to Horsham where he painted landscapes near the border of the Wimmera River, and was to return on several painting trips to the far north-west of the state over the next few years. He discovered there the hint of something that had drawn other painters of his generation, a subject tentatively recorded by only a few artist of the nineteenth century, and touched upon be even fewer in the twentieth: the empty space of the great interior.'1'Of course the Wimmera was wheat country, and not by any means forbidding, nor forsaken. But in dry, hot weather it could have, over sparse, unbroken horizons, a searing expanse of sky that elicited an acute sense of the infinite. Russell Drysdale had already made unforgettable images in this vein through his drought paintings of 1948-49. Boyd's tempera technique invested his paintings of the Wimmera, and of the Grampians at this time, with a luminosity that enhanced his subjects to just the right pitch, and his landscapes between 1949 and 1951 were greeted with acclaim.'21. Pearce, op. cit., p. 182. ibid., p. 19

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ARTHUR BOYD 1920 - 1999, NARCISSUS RUNNING ON A SANDBANK, 1976, oil on canvas

Lot 31: ARTHUR BOYD 1920 - 1999, NARCISSUS RUNNING ON A SANDBANK, 1976, oil on canvas

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Description: ARTHUR BOYD 1920 - 1999, NARCISSUS RUNNING ON A SANDBANK, 1976, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed lower right: Arthur BoydDIMENSIONS: 92.0 x 122.0 cmEXHIBITED: Arthur Boyd: Recent Paintings, Fischer Fine Art, London, 1977, cat. 13 (illus. in exhibition catalogue)PROVENANCE: Fischer Fine Art, London Savill Galleries, Sydney Private collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above in 1995ESSAY: According to the oft-quoted version ascribed to Ovid, the myth of Narcissus tells of the unrequited love of the nymph Echo who, condemned by Hera to repeat only the last syllable of words spoken in her presence, is unable to declare her love for the handsome youth, Narcissus. Thus spurned by Narcissus, she dies of a broken heart, while Narcissus is doomed by the gods to fall in love with his own image. Unable to tear himself away from his reflection in a woodland pool, he dies there of languor and ultimately, is metamorphosed into the flower which bears his name, growing by the edge of rivers and ponds. With its themes of vanity, self-indulgence and eventually, self-destruction, this epic tale had provided inspiration to the visual arts for thousands of years from ancient Rome to the celebrated images of artists as diverse as Caravaggio, Poussin and Dali. Even local predecessors such as Sydney Long had equipped the Australian bush with Arcadian pastoral idylls in the classical tradition. No artist however, had ever devoted himself to imagining the experiences of Narcissus in the Australian landscape with such vigour and complexity before modernist painter, Arthur Boyd. Comprising by far the largest body of work on a single theme executed by Boyd during his Shoalhaven period, the Narcissus series - exemplified magnificently here by Narcissus Running on a Sandbank,1976 - was conceived following the artist's return to Australia from England in 1975. Directly inspired by his experience of living upon the banks of the Shoalhaven - the river with its stillness and mesmerising reflections, the ubiquitous native rock orchids, and the haunting echoes of the valley - such compositions are widely acclaimed among his most audacious works, demonstrating Boyd at his most elegant and commanding. Switching emphasis constantly, at times Boyd allows the naked figure of the doomed Narcissus to dominate (as here where the self-loving spirit strides through the sandbank lashed by a rainstorm and framed by a resplendent rainbow), and elsewhere, the primordial landscape. Pervading the entire series however, is the artist's enduring interest in man and his responsibility to others; as Boyd muses, 'It is the self-absorption of Narcissus that interests me. He was more interesting than Ajax or Hector or Mars. Conceit is essentially non-productive in all aspects ...'1 Indeed, for Boyd, Narcissus personifies the concept famously explored by Freud of a self-knowledge that threatens to become impotent self-love and self-destruction. Such moral implications are poignantly reiterated by a similar composition entitled simply Narcissus which features the almost airborne protagonist diving into the water, while behind him, curled up in a foetal position is his own image at birth. Narcissus is so non-productive that he doesn't even notice himself (the foetal baby beside him), while in Narcissus with Cain and Abel on the Shoalhaven, the message is even more poignantly accentuated: 'Cain and Abel were the beginning of non-productive behaviour and Narcissus was a continuation. Both situations are barren.'2Accompanying the first exhibition of Boyd's 'Narcissus' paintings at Fischer Fine Art, London in 1977, was an introduction by esteemed Australian expatriate poet, Peter Porter, who was motivated to write 'Narcissus Nowra' after visiting the artist at his Shoalhaven property in 1975. Driven by a similar desire to contribute to contemporary issues of morality and politics through the guise of the European cultural tradition, the two would later collaborate on several publications together, including Narcissus (1984) featuring Porter's poems from 1976-79 and Boyd's brilliant visionary suite of 24 aquatint etchings. 1. Boyd cited in McGrath, S., The Artist and The River: Arthur Boyd and The Shoalhaven, Bay Books, Sydney, 1982, p. 692. Boyd, cited ibid. VERONICA ANGELATOS

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JOHN OLSEN born 1928, THE LITTLE RIVER, watercolour and crayon on paper

Lot 32: JOHN OLSEN born 1928, THE LITTLE RIVER, watercolour and crayon on paper

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Description: JOHN OLSEN born 1928, THE LITTLE RIVER, watercolour and crayon on paperSIGNED: signed and inscribed lower left: John Olsen / The Little RiverDIMENSIONS: 99.0 x 121.0 cmPROVENANCE: Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney Private collection, MelbourneESSAY: The following excerpts are from Hart, D., John Olsen, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1991:'During the 1970s, John Olsen's work was largely shaped by the journeys he made to a range of locations around Australia. In contrast with the stereotypes of the bush as an endless spectrum of gumtrees, or of the interior as an alienating place of "fearful sameness", Olsen discovered the immense diversity of the country - in its rainforests, wetlands, estuaries and lily ponds ...'1'Olsen continued to explore this sense of the burgeoning water world after repeated visits to North Queensland during the 1970s and into the 1980s ... Olsen later summed up his feelings about these environments: "Working on these projects really altered my way of looking at things because I could see not only bird-life but a whole range of biology. It is so staggeringly fragile. You have to have the estuaries and the waterlands to have the birds, the frogs, the crustaceans. In David Attenborough's film series he indicates that life really began in the water and after thousands of years creatures left the water. There is still in those beautiful lily ponds that whole kind of structure that is the beginning of life." '21. Hart, op. cit., p. 1232. ibid., p. 129

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JOHN COBURN 1925 - 2006, THE TOWER, 1963, synthetic polymer paint on composition board

Lot 33: JOHN COBURN 1925 - 2006, THE TOWER, 1963, synthetic polymer paint on composition board

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Description: JOHN COBURN 1925 - 2006, THE TOWER, 1963, synthetic polymer paint on composition boardSIGNED: signed lower right: Coburn dated and inscribed verso: JOHN COBURN / 1 MACEDON PL WARRIEWOOD NSW. "THE TOWER" 2/63DIMENSIONS: 168.0 x 91.0 cmEXHIBITED: John Coburn, Hungry Horse Gallery, Sydney, 11 June - 5 July 1963 Sydney Royal Easter Show Art Exhibition, c1964 (partial label attached verso) 1967 International and Universal Exposition (Expo - 67), Montreal, Canada, 28 April - 27 October 1967, cat. 10 (label attached verso)LITERATURE: James Gleeson Oral History Collection, Interview with John Coburn, 30 May 1979, National Gallery of Australia Research Library, Canberra, Amadio, N., John Coburn: Paintings, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1988, p. 196PROVENANCE: Institutional collection, SydneyESSAY: In 1963 John Coburn held a solo exhibition at the Hungry Horse Gallery in Sydney, where The Tower was one of thirty paintings and drawings exhibited. Representing a significant phase of Coburn's career, The Tower was one of the first works that he executed in synthetic polymer paint after years of working almost exclusively with oils. The flexible nature of synthetic polymer paint allowed Coburn a certain freedom and spontaneity which translates onto the surface through the liberally applied layers of paint. This is particularly noticeable when compared to the highly constructed works that Coburn would go on to produce. The picture on offer was considered by the artist to 'satisfactorily' represent his period of the early 1960s, where he had recently adopted a freer expressionistic style.1 In an interview with James Gleeson in 1979, Coburn discusses The Tower and its relevance to his oeuvre:'The Tower is a work done, I think, in 1963. It represents a break from the sort of work I was doing just a few years before that. I moved from Rose Bay to Warriewood and for the first time in my life I had a studio in which to work. I took great delight in splashing a lot of paint around and also abstract expressionism, of course, was still very much in the air at that time.'2Coburn's enthusiasm is clearly visible and highly emotive, as the darker palette and intensity of the composition resonates with the viewer. The fervent brushstrokes create a powerful allusion to ornate stained glass windows of cathedrals and to various religious motifs such as the crown of thorns, the crucifixion and the Tower of Babel. The Tower of Babel is a biblical narrative from the Book of Genesis and tells the tale of a single population of people who spoke one language and settled in the land of Shinar. They endeavoured to build a grand city and a mighty tower which would reach heaven, which would thus seemingly render God useless. God came down to earth and in order to humble humanity, he scattered the people and transformed their speech into many languages so that they would be divided and unable to communicate. After rejecting religion during his teenage years, Coburn converted to Catholicism during the early 1950s. His interest in religious subjects began following discussions with Father Scott, an organiser of the prestigious Blake Prize for Religious Art. Coburn submitted various artworks throughout the fifties, but it was not until 1960 that he was awarded the Prize for his painting The Passion, 1960. Despite his many depictions of landscapes and the seasons, Coburn is still labelled as a religious artist, as Nadine Amadio discusses 'He could certainly be termed a religious painter as all his art, even when it is not specifically sacred, is religious in terms of being a celebration of creation, of the development of the human spirit, and of the orders of nature.'31. Interview between John Coburn and James Gleeson, 30 May 1979, National Gallery of Australia website, viewed 17 March 20142. ibid.3. Amadio, D., John Coburn: Paintings, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1988, p. 7 CASSI YOUNG

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KEN WHISSON born 1927, BLUE SHIRT, BLUE SKY, 2005, oil on linen

Lot 34: KEN WHISSON born 1927, BLUE SHIRT, BLUE SKY, 2005, oil on linen

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Description: KEN WHISSON born 1927, BLUE SHIRT, BLUE SKY, 2005, oil on linenSIGNED: signed, dated and inscribed verso: Ken Whisson / "Blue Shirt, Blue Sky" / 12/7/05 ...DIMENSIONS: 80.0 x 70.0 cmEXHIBITED: Ken Whisson Paintings and Drawings, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, 2-28 October 2006 Ken Whisson: As If, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Heide, 17 March - 15 July 2012, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 28 September - 25 November 2012LITERATURE: Barkley G., and Harding, L., Ken Whisson: As If, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2012, cat. 178, p. 161 (illus.)PROVENANCE: Niagara Galleries, Melbourne (label attached verso) Private collection, BrisbaneESSAY: Looking at one of Ken Whisson's works is like studying a diagram of the thinking mind. This is why their schematic forms begin to seem ever more familiar over time - they conjure up experiences and observations that virtually everyone holds in common ... The idiosyncratic colours and raw, insistent marks with which Whisson records these experiences do not completely disguise the nature of each subject. On the contrary, they invite us to interpret these views as filtered through another consciousness. In doing so, we become more aware of the provisional and subjective nature of our perceptions, and the way they are taken apart and reassembled in the mind.'... Whisson's work is always open to such dual possibilities - to the straightforward recognition of an object, and the wider sphere of subjective associations enriched by memory. This is where a metaphysical dimension may be discerned, because there is much in these pictures that eludes any obvious narrative.'11. McDonald, J., 'Ken Whisson: Matter and Memory' in Ken Whisson: Paintings and Drawings 1947-1999, Niagara Publishing, Melbourne, 2001, p. 9

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BILL HENSON born 1955, UNTITLED, 1990-91 (From Paris Opera Project), type C photograph

Lot 35: BILL HENSON born 1955, UNTITLED, 1990-91 (From Paris Opera Project), type C photograph

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Description: BILL HENSON born 1955, UNTITLED, 1990-91 (From Paris Opera Project), type C photographSIGNED: signed, dated, titled and numbered below image inscribed below image: IMAGE NUMBER 40/131 PRINT 2/5'A'DIMENSIONS: 122.0 x 122.0 cmedition: 2/5'A'EXHIBITED: Works from the Paris Opera Project, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, March - April 1992PROVENANCE: Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney Private collection, Melbourne

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BILL HENSON born 1955, UNTITLED, 1999/2000, type C photograph

Lot 36: BILL HENSON born 1955, UNTITLED, 1999/2000, type C photograph

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Description: BILL HENSON born 1955, UNTITLED, 1999/2000, type C photographSIGNED: signed and numbered below image inscribed with number KMC SH 28 N30DIMENSIONS: 104.0 x 153.0 cmedition: 2/5EXHIBITED: Bill Henson, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, March 2000, cat. 5PROVENANCE: Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (label attached verso) Private collection, Melbourne

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CALLUM MORTON born 1965, COVER UP # 1, 2012, polyurethane resin, wood, synthetic polymer paint

Lot 37: CALLUM MORTON born 1965, COVER UP # 1, 2012, polyurethane resin, wood, synthetic polymer paint

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Description: CALLUM MORTON born 1965, COVER UP # 1, 2012, polyurethane resin, wood, synthetic polymer paintDIMENSIONS: 200.0 x 118.0 x 10.0 cmEXHIBITED: Callum Morton: The Insides 2012, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, June - July 2012PROVENANCE: Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney Private collection, SydneyESSAY: Belonging to a series of works created in 2012, Cover Up # 1 is a large sculpture shaped in the form of a painting, seemingly covered by a sheet in an effort to conceal the work underneath. At first glance, the sculpture is incredibly lifelike and the viewer is tempted to pull off the shroud and reveal the hidden secret. But on closer inspection it becomes apparent that the focus of the work is not the painting, it is the cover up. The plain white sheet alludes to vacated homes, abandonment, and forgotten and outdated objects from a bygone era. Meanwhile, the theatrical element of this work is reminiscent of Rene Magritte's small group of paintings of unidentified figures, whose faces are mysteriously shrouded by white cloth. We are also reminded of Mel Ramsden's mysterious Secret Painting, 1967-68, a black canvas accompanied by a text which states that the contents of the canvas are a complete secret and known only to the artist.1Unlike many of Morton's other sculptures, models and prints which create a visual tension between architecture and consumerism, the Cover Up series is seemingly devoid of any commentary on commercial branding. Yet Morton's discourse is still evident in these less obvious works. Cover Up # 1 is depicted as a covered Willem de Kooning painting, while a shrouded chair from the same exhibition Cover Up # 2 represents a popular Eames design, both famous icons of the twentieth century.2 Morton has removed the visual content and narrative from these two objects and has remade them in a new context.Morton is renowned for his architectural sculptures, installations and prints, however the significant group of Cover Up sculptures elucidates the role of objects within the structural design. As a former student of architecture, construction and design has always played a strong role in Morton's works. His oeuvre investigates the utopian ideals of architecture against the stark reality of urbanisation, social conflict and politics. Many of his works illustrate familiar designs of glamorous buildings but with a certain foreboding undertone, or dilapidated ruins of once glorified buildings, illuminating the role of architecture in society's collapse. By discussing the issue of 'globalisation-sustaining lifestyles of the so-called West,'3 Morton's commentary upon Western society is provocative and relevant.Cover Up # 1 was first exhibited at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney in 2012. A second show featuring several shrouded 'canvases' and one small object, was shown later that year at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne. Cover Up # 4 from the latter show was recently exhibited in the Melbourne Now exhibition held at The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Morton represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and his works are held in the major public collections across Australia. A site-specific installation is currently included in the 19th Biennale of Sydney, You Imagine What You Desire.1. Anna Schwartz Gallery website viewed 19 March 20142. Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery website viewed 19 March 20143. Scott, F., 'Callum Morton: Unsettlement' in Day, C., and Tutton, S., (eds), Before and After Science: 2010 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2010, p. 66 CASSI YOUNG

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HANY ARMANIOUS born 1962, SPHINX, 2009, cast pigmented polyurethane resin, cast pewter

Lot 38: HANY ARMANIOUS born 1962, SPHINX, 2009, cast pigmented polyurethane resin, cast pewter

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Description: HANY ARMANIOUS born 1962, SPHINX, 2009, cast pigmented polyurethane resin, cast pewterDIMENSIONS: 150.0 x 107.0 x 47.0 cmEXHIBITED: Uncanny Valley, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, 26 March 2009 Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney, 4 June - 24 November 2011PROVENANCE: Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney Private collection, SydneyESSAY: With his enduring interest in the readymade and figurative traditions of sculpture, as well as the real and illusory potential of art, Hany Armanious is internationally renowned as the author of mysterious, beguiling works that seek to confound and provoke through their exploration of the energy embedded within inanimate objects. Embracing forms, processes and materials from a myriad of traditions - ancient, non-Western idolatry to cosmology, magic and mysticism, and twentieth-century modernism as espoused by figures including Duchamp, Brancusi and Giacometti - for over two decades, his poetic invocations have encouraged reconsideration of the way in which sculpture is fundamentally defined and understood. Simultaneously archaic and modern, formal and informal, uncanny and concrete, indeed his metaphysical enquiries into the nature of objects and our relationship to them are distinguished by an unmistakable universality notwithstanding their ostensible 'ordinariness'; as Doug Hall suggests, the art of Armanious is 'panoramic ... sorting through the detritus of cultural memory.'1Long fascinated by the transformative powers of the shaman, Armanious employs a highly original technique which constantly surprises through the deft making, unmaking and recreating of everyday objects and materials in oddly lyrical ways. In this manner, the antipodean artist 'shares much with Beuys and Barney: the alchemy idea, conspiracies of art and occult knowledge, fantasies about the artist as the centre of the universe, and a passion for casting ...'2 Yet, as Robert Leonard observes, while Armanious engages the viewer in the seductive idea of art as a transformative or transcendental project, 'the deeper we get into it the more we become mired in mixed metaphors and conceits ... His work is psychological and phenomological rather than cosmological or religious. He sponsors metaphysical inquiry and then pulls the rug out from under it.'3 Redolent with allusion and metaphor, the present Sphinx, 2009 - one of several incarnations by Armanious evoking the mythical figure from ancient civilizations - encapsulates well his artistic intentions. Challenging our acumen in the same vein as its fabled predecessor, it poses the riddle 'What am I?' Quite literally, the sculpture is paradoxically an 'original copy' - an assemblage of casts moulded from polyurethane resin which possess an disorienting degree of verisimilitude. Symbolically however, this new 'reality' whereby objects of incidental value have been transmuted into the precious realm of art through their own faithful remaking is endless in its resonance, continuing to intrigue and bemuse long after Armanious has cast his magic.Born in Egypt in 1962, and migrating with his family to Australia six years later, Sydney-based Armanious represented Australia at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 with his exhibition The Golden Thread, curated by Anne Ellegood of the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Subsequently toured to Monash Museum of Art, Melbourne (2012), the exhibition features among his most celebrated recent achievements, together with Fountain (2012) commissioned for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and solo exhibitions such as The Oracle (2008) at the Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, and Morphic Resonance (2006-07) at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane and City Gallery, Wellington. The recipient of the prestigious Moet & Chandon Fellowship in 1998, Armanious has also exhibited widely at several biennales, including the Adelaide Biennale (2010); the Busan Biennale (2006); the Johannsburg Biennale (1995); the Sydney Biennale (1992), and in 1993, was selected to exhibit in the Aperto section of the Venice Biennale. His work is held in many important private and public collections internationally, including most major museums within Australia and New Zealand, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, United States of America; the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Dakis Joannou Foundation, Athens.1. Hall, D., cited in Delany, M., 'The Uncanny Logic of Hany Armanious', Artery, 1 November 2011 2. Leonard, R., 'Catalogue of Errors' in Morphic Resonance - Hany Armanious, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2007, pp. 20-30 3. ibid. VERONICA ANGELATOS

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PATRICIA PICCININI born 1965, RADIAL, 2005, fibreglass, automotive paint and stainless steel

Lot 39: PATRICIA PICCININI born 1965, RADIAL, 2005, fibreglass, automotive paint and stainless steel

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Description: PATRICIA PICCININI born 1965, RADIAL, 2005, fibreglass, automotive paint and stainless steelDIMENSIONS: 70.0 x 60.0 x 21.0 cmEXHIBITED: Patricia Piccinini: Unbreaking Eggs, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, 3-25 September 2005, cat. 11 Patricia Piccinini: Nature's Little Helpers, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, October - November 2005 Patricia Piccinini: In Another Life, City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi, New Zealand, 19 February - 11 June 2006 Patricia Piccinini: Life Cycle, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne, 11 May - 10 June 2006 Patricia Piccinini: (tiernas) / Criaturas/ (tender) Creatures, Artium de Alava, Vitoria, Spain, October 2007 - January 2008 Hug: Recent Work by Patricia Piccinini, Des Moines Art Centre, Iowa, January - April 2007; Frye Art Museum, Seattle, 22 September 2007 - 6 January 2008LITERATURE: Brennan S., 'Border Patrol', in Savage, P., et al., In Another Life, City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand, 2006 Nelson, R., 'Piccinini Life Cycle', The Age, Melbourne, 17 May 2006 (illus.)PROVENANCE: Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney Private collection, SydneyESSAY: From the Greek teraton, meaning monster, teratomas are tumorous masses containing within themselves multiple tissue types ... In a teratoma we observe not so much a fully blown creature as a mass of organic matter desperately trying to become one.'1In Radial, 2005 Patricia Piccinini explores the advancement of science through genetic engineering and stem cell research, in addition to contemporary society's obsession with consumerism. Sculpted in the form of an alloy wheel, this work is portrayed as an icon of luxury, indicative of the automotive industry. Yet despite the fine craftsmanship of the alloy wheel, bulbous and tumour like polyps engulf the top of the tyre in the form of a teratoma. As the viewer gazes at the unnatural growth, Piccinini poses the question of existence; is it an inanimate object brought to life by biotechnology in a feat of human excellence? Or was it originally a living organism, destroyed by consumerism and absorbed into our culture, genetically modified into an everyday object? The smooth and shining rim is starkly contrasted to the abnormal protuberance, which appears to be growing and encroaching a little further each day.Radial belongs to a group of humanised machines and objects that include cars, trucks and motor bike helmets. Where Piccinini's hybrid creatures are somewhat fleshy and abhorrent but also loveable, the machines are immaculate and glossy. Truck Babies, 1999 was exhibited alongside Radial in 2006 for Piccinini's solo exhibition, In Another Life at the City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand. Placed within a nursery environment, the adorable miniature trucks are brought to life through pastel colours (baby blue for boys and baby pink for girls) and wide childlike 'eyes'. As people have become attached to their cars and machines, Piccinini closes the gap between the machine as an object and the machine as an important member of our family. In Another Life explores an alternate universe that is relatively close and in this genomic era of technological advancement, Piccinini raises the question: how long before her visions become realities?Renowned for her life-like sculptures of mystical creatures that straddle the line between beast and human, Piccinini continually raises a dialogue between what is considered normal and abnormal by creating a fictional world based on an altered reality. Picinnini represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and her works have been exhibited and collected by major galleries both internationally and in Australia.1. Wertheim, C., and Wertheim, M., 'Teratology' in Patricia Piccinini: We Are Family, Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney, 2003, p. 26 CASSI YOUNG

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JAMES ANGUS born 1970, FLY'S EYE CONIC EXTRUSION, 2008, Radiata pine

Lot 40: JAMES ANGUS born 1970, FLY'S EYE CONIC EXTRUSION, 2008, Radiata pine

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Description: JAMES ANGUS born 1970, FLY'S EYE CONIC EXTRUSION, 2008, Radiata pineDIMENSIONS: 45.0 cm diameterEXHIBITED: James Angus, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 13 September - 26 November 2006; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 16 December 2007 - 2 March 2008PROVENANCE: Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney Private collection, Sydney

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ALEXANDER SETON born 1977, THE STOCKROOM TRAP, 2005, Wombeyan marble, pulley and rope

Lot 41: ALEXANDER SETON born 1977, THE STOCKROOM TRAP, 2005, Wombeyan marble, pulley and rope

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Description: ALEXANDER SETON born 1977, THE STOCKROOM TRAP, 2005, Wombeyan marble, pulley and ropeSIGNED: signed, dated and inscribed on base: A. Seton / 2005 / 'The Stockroom Trap'DIMENSIONS: 53.5 x 35.0 x 28.0 cm (marble)EXHIBITED: Alexander Seton: Stay On Message, Maunsell Wickes @ Barry Stern Galleries, Sydney, 8-26 November 2005PROVENANCE: Maunsell Wickes @ Barry Stern Galleries, Sydney Private collection, Sydney

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DALE FRANK born 1959, ALL OF IT LEFT HIM SWINGING SWAYING LIKE A GIANT BUG EYED GRASSHOPPER, 2009, varnish on canvas

Lot 42: DALE FRANK born 1959, ALL OF IT LEFT HIM SWINGING SWAYING LIKE A GIANT BUG EYED GRASSHOPPER, 2009, varnish on canvas

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Description: DALE FRANK born 1959, ALL OF IT LEFT HIM SWINGING SWAYING LIKE A GIANT BUG EYED GRASSHOPPER, 2009, varnish on canvasSIGNED: signed and dated twice verso: Dale Frank 2008/9DIMENSIONS: 200.5 x 200.0 cmEXHIBITED: Dale Frank: Selected Works, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, 2009PROVENANCE: Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (label attached verso) Private collection, SydneyESSAY: Within the luscious paintings of Dale Frank layers of pigmented varnish form delicate pools and rivulets. Across continuous hours the artist tilts and carefully manipulates the canvas, to slowly redirect or coalesce the poured varnish. The result is exquisite and expansive works that embody both the physical maneuverings and contemplation inherent within their creation. The present work, titled All of it left him swinging swaying like a giant bug eyed grasshopper brings together glossy streaks and expanses of royal purple and golden yellows amidst atmospheric pools of muted blues. The painting's surface reveals the varied accumulations of these dispersed stratified colours; that produce a sense of colliding and overlapping territories, yet in their totality form a cohesive and commanding visual statement. There is an honest majesty within this painting which balances as both true abstraction and evocative landscape.The witty and frequently lengthy titles of many of these paintings indicate the confidence and lightness of touch Dale Frank has found during decades of international and local success. In 1984 Frank was included in the Aperto at the 42nd Venice Biennale and in 2000 a survey exhibition of his work was held at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney titled Ecstasy: 20 Years of Painting. In 2010 he exhibited in the 17th Biennale of Sydney and in 2013 in the group exhibition Personal Structure at the Palazzo Bembo, as part of the Collatoral Program of the 55th Venice Biennale. In 2005 Frank won the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize at the Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria. Frank's work is represented in major public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, and in numerous important private and corporate collections around the world. AMY MARJORAM

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YAYOI KUSAMA born 1929, Japanese, HEART [AOWHTON], 2007, synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Lot 43: YAYOI KUSAMA born 1929, Japanese, HEART [AOWHTON], 2007, synthetic polymer paint on canvas

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Description: YAYOI KUSAMA born 1929, Japanese, HEART [AOWHTON], 2007, synthetic polymer paint on canvasSIGNED: signed, dated and inscribed verso: HEART [AOWHTON] / Yayoi Kusama / 2007DIMENSIONS: 146.0 x 146.0 cmEXHIBITED: Yayoi Kusama, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, 26 April - 19 May 2007, cat. 6 Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 24 February - 8 June, 2009PROVENANCE: Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo (label attached verso) Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (label attached verso) Private collection, SydneyESSAY: By obliterating one's individual self, one returns to the infinite universe.'1One of the most exciting, original and prolific artists of our time, Yayoi Kusama has remained at the forefront of developments in contemporary art practice for over half a century. Widely respected for an endlessly vibrant and stylistically varied oeuvre encompassing painting, sculpture, poetry, fiction, performance, film-making, fashion, installation and public spectacle (or 'happenings'), her influence may be discerned in tendencies as diverse as Pop Art, Surrealism, Minimalism, the Zero and Nul movements, Eccentric Abstraction and Feminist art. Notably however, Kusama herself consistently eludes any singular classification, occupying a highly unique role as the eternal 'insider-outsider'. Whether as an Asian woman in the male-dominated New York art scene of the 1960s, or as a liberated, worldly artist in conservative Japan, indeed she transcends gender, generation, geography and even the very notion of art itself in her infinite consciousness and enduring mission to reveal through her mysterious and highly idiosyncratic forms the 'invisible interconnectedness' of everything within the cosmos.Born in 1929 in the hinterland town of Matsumoto, Japan, Kusama suffered a traumatic family life and oppressive early artistic training in the traditional manner of Japanese Nihonga painting - a rigorous formal style which she perceived as tainted by association with Nationalist rule - before finally making the radical decision to move to the New York in 1958. Propelled by a seemingly insatiable desire to not only develop a Western-style of painting but position herself within the international avant-garde, Kusama later recalled, 'For art like mine - art that does battle at the boundary between life and death, questioning what we are and what it mean to live and die - [Japan] was too small, too servile, too feudalistic, and too scornful of women. My art needed a more unlimited freedom and a wider world.'2 Ever the frenetic experimenter, Kusama quickly absorbed everything this dynamic city had to offer, cultivating friendships with influential figures such as Donald Judd, Frank Stella and Joseph Cornell, and unashamedly exploiting her exotic 'Oriental' allure to gain attention in a manner reminiscent of fellow consummate self-publicist, Andy Warhol. After just a year, she had revolutionised the local art scene with her first series of astonishing 'Infinity Net paintings' unveiled in 1959 - vast canvases measuring up to 33 feet in width and entirely covered in rhythmic undulations tirelessly repeated '... without beginning, end or centre'.3 Stemming from hallucinations that had plagued the artist since childhood whereby objects surrounding her became unified in a single pattern, these seminal works encapsulated what would become Kusama's signature motifs, the net and its negative space the polka dot - 'two interchangeable idioms that she adopted as her alter ego, her logo, her franchise and weapon of incursion into the world at large'.4 Moreover, the series heralded the beginning of a resolutely disciplined and single-minded performance spanning more than six decades that, like her art, would continually repeat and obliterate itself. With its mesmerising, transcendent beauty, monochromatic palette and contemplation of the infinite through obsessive lattice patterning, the present Heart [AOWHTON], 2007 finds its origins in those early groundbreaking paintings, now widely extolled as her crowning achievement - as attested by the sale of one composition at Christie's in 2008 for an astounding $5.2 million, representing the highest price ever paid for work by a female living artist.Despite once reputedly being 'as famous as Warhol',5 during the decades following her return to Japan permanently in 1973 Kusama remained in relative obscurity, living and working from a studio built adjacent to the mental institution where she admitted herself. Encouraged by the overwhelming success of her Infinity Mirror Room installation for the Japanese Pavilion at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993, Kusama has since embarked upon several major outdoor sculptural commissions, and today is enjoying a long-overdue, widespread revival of interest with several major survey exhibitions, including Love Forever (1998) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and touring to Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; KUSAMATRIX (2004) Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years (2009) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (in which the present work on offer was included); and most recently, Yayoi Kusama (2012) organised by Tate Modern, London and touring to various venues across Europe. 1. Kusama, Y., Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama, London, 20112. Kusama, ibid., p. 933. Kusama cited in Hoptman, L., 'Yayoi Kusama: A reckoning', in Yayoi Kusama, Phaidon Press, London, 2000, p. 1034. Hoptman, ibid., p. 3445. Solomon, A., 'Dot, Dot, Dot', Artforum, February 1997, p. 100 VERONICA ANGELATOS

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JOHN PULE born 1962, New Zealand, TAPUAKIAGA, 2001, oil, ink and enamel on canvas

Lot 44: JOHN PULE born 1962, New Zealand, TAPUAKIAGA, 2001, oil, ink and enamel on canvas

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Description: JOHN PULE born 1962, New Zealand, TAPUAKIAGA, 2001, oil, ink and enamel on canvasSIGNED: signed, dated and inscribed lower right: John Puhiatau Pule 2001 / TAPUAKIAGADIMENSIONS: 200.0 x 180.0 cmEXHIBITED: John Pule: Recent Paintings, Gow Langsford Gallery, Sydney, 2003PROVENANCE: Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand Private collection, BrisbaneESSAY: Born in Niue in 1962 and emigrating to New Zealand at the age of two, esteemed poet and novelist John Pule first gained international recognition as an artist during the early nineties with his large unstretched canvases which, inspired by the aesthetics of traditional Niuean bark-cloth painting (hiapo), intertwine his own deeply personal experiences with contentious contemporary issues of colonialism and Christianity in the Pacific. Invariably employing a grid-like format which divided the canvas into rectangular cells, the aptly named 'hiapo paintings' featured a bewildering variety of imagery from abstract geometrical patterns to comic strip-like religious narratives and a plethora of hybrid creatures, humans and objects (some immediately recognisable, others derived from Niuean mythology or his imagination). Richly inventive and dynamic, such compositions revealed Pule as a highly original artist straddling several cultures in his underlying concerns with identity and migration, colonisation and the destruction of indigenous culture. Although strongly evocative of the Pacific however, his art was recognised as being at once more universal, more historical and more political than his Polynesian peers, akin rather to the important New Zealand artist of Maori descent, Ralph Hotere (1931 - 2013), who often engaged with international struggles from South Africa to Palestine. Extolling the searing individuality of Pule's voice, Nicholas Thomas asserts, he has 'no precedent in either traditional Polynesian art or modern Western genres'.1At the dawn of the new millennium, Pule daringly abandoned this hiapo-grid idiom to embark instead upon the radically different 'cloud paintings', exemplified magnificently here by Tapuakiaga, 2001. His most celebrated achievement to date, the series invariably features surreal cloudscapes where rust red (or green) clouds of variable size, number and distribution, are surmounted by miniscule black-ink drawings detailing a proliferation of figures and forms: as Garrett elaborates, 'hybrid bird-like lizards, botanical motifs, birds, the Christian cross, Pacific church buildings, aeroplanes, broken aeroplanes mounted by two-headed monsters, ambulances, decapitated heads, fantastical creatures breathing fire, skulls, sex acts, island silhouettes ...'2 Indeed, in a manner reminiscent of the heterogeneous visions of Netherlandish proto-surrealist Hieronymus Bosch, many of the characters between and atop clouds are dismembered and calamities seem to be unfolding everywhere. Often linking the clouds are huge precarious ladders and falling tendrils of the ti mata alea (Cordyline tree), believed in Niuean culture to be the plant from which human life evolved. Symbolising the origins of his people, the flowering vines also bear strong personal significance for Pule whose family brought native Niuean plants with them to New Zealand to establish in the soil of their new home - an attempt to find anchorage that resonates throughout his art.Although mourning a loss of cultural identity both for himself and the wider Pacific community, such works resist any overt postcolonial statement. Rather Pule's allusions to the dislocation and pain caused by migration and amalgamation with Western beliefs and society are always subtle and executed with ironic control; as David Eggleton elucidates, 'His paintings are miniature museums of ethnology ... Now and again, there is rupture and erasure, rubbing, smearing, blotting, but all done with delicacy and finesse.'3 Similarly, that Pule constructs his bloody skyscapes from the view of aeroplanes - sites and instruments of global terror since 11 September 2001 - suggests a meditation upon this new era of international conflict and violence. Yet as elsewhere within his oeuvre, such condemnation of humanity's capacity for meaningless abuse is inevitably counterbalanced by a sense of optimism and insistence upon empathy; as the artist poignantly muses, 'I chose clouds and the sky because they feature so powerfully in the Bible. The sky is second only to the sea as a place that fills my imagination with awe. I see this space as a sort of backdrop to a place that is ideal, you know, a place that is full of metaphors for social change.'41. Thomas, N., Possessions, Indigenous Art/Colonial Culture, Thames and Hudson, London, 19992. Garrett, R., 'Walking with Letters: Michael Parekowhai, John Reynolds, John Pule,' Artlink, vol. 27, no.1, 2007, pp. 46-493. Eggleton, D., 'John Pule and the Psychic Territory of Polynesia', Art New Zealand, 2001, p. 654. Pule cited in Durrant, J., 'Odes of a Restless Spirit: John Pule', Art Asia Pacific, vol. 67, March/April 2010, pp. 86-91 VERONICA ANGELATOS

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EMILY KAME KNGWARREYE c1910 - 1996, A CARPETED DESERT, 1990, synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Lot 45: EMILY KAME KNGWARREYE c1910 - 1996, A CARPETED DESERT, 1990, synthetic polymer paint on canvas

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Description: EMILY KAME KNGWARREYE c1910 - 1996, A CARPETED DESERT, 1990, synthetic polymer paint on canvasSIGNED: inscribed verso: artist's name and Delmore Gallery cat. 0026DIMENSIONS: 211.0 x 121.0 cmPROVENANCE: Delmore Gallery, Alice Springs Aboriginal Artists Gallery, Sydney Private collection, United States of America, acquired from the above in 1991 Private collection, Switzerland Christie's, Sydney, 12 October 2004, lot 58 Private collection, QueenslandESSAY: Emily has spent most of her life at this place and knows it intimately in good season - and in bad. It is essentially the power of the red, bare soil with its countless seeds of energy hidden lying in wait for rain, that when recognised, binds one forever to the country with the marvel of such dramatic transformation and the abundance that follows. To witness a display of the desert's power, gives a basis to understanding the reverence and enthusiastic anticipation of the women's ceremonial activities, called 'awelye'. They celebrate the hardiness and fertility of their bush tucker food resource, and in turn, their own. Emily displays her country in bold and brazen storms of colour, the colours representing the raw, ripe and dry fruit - the bud, the stalk, the scattered seeds - all parts of the life cycle.

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JOHN GLOVER 1767 - 1849, LEATHE'S WATER, SKIDDAW AND SADDLEBACK IN DISTANCE, c1816-17, oil on canvas

Lot 46: JOHN GLOVER 1767 - 1849, LEATHE'S WATER, SKIDDAW AND SADDLEBACK IN DISTANCE, c1816-17, oil on canvas

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Description: JOHN GLOVER 1767 - 1849, LEATHE'S WATER, SKIDDAW AND SADDLEBACK IN DISTANCE, c1816-17, oil on canvasSIGNED: inscribed on old label verso: Leathe's Water / Skiddaw and Saddleback in distance / J. GloverDIMENSIONS: 75.0 x 111.0 cmPROVENANCE: Kurt Albrecht Collection, Melbourne, since the 1970s Thence by descent Private collection, MelbourneESSAY: John Glover couched his paintings in a golden glow reflecting the age of their genesis, a similarly golden time often referred to as the age of enlightenment. A devoted classicist and admirer of the great French master Claude Lorrain, Glover invested all his art with an order and beauty that gives it an ageless serenity. Moreover, his exactness of observation was such that his paintings of Van Diemen's Land of the eighteen-thirties into the forties are among the first to realize the unique peculiarities of its landscape, a kind of untouched paradise of man and nature at one. Glover's fame, however, was not Australian made, for when he came to the Antipodes in 1831 he already had an established reputation, being well known as the 'English Claude'. He dressed his art in the then fashion of the Picturesque with its delight in the magnificence of mountain landscapes touched by the sublime, the orderliness of man made pastoral calm the more pronounced by contrast with the rugged wilds. Leathe's Water, Skiddaw and Saddleback in Distance of about 1816-17 is a classic example. It's very grandeur inspires a similar mood as the eye explores the splendour of the panorama and the civilized touches nestling within.The English Lakes District has long appealed to the painter and poet. In 1783 Thomas Gainsborough painted there; also J.M.W. Turner and Constable, who toured the district in 1806. Glover's passion resulted in many visits between 1793 and 1824, eventually settling at Blawick Farm on Ullswater near the village of Patterdale.1 Of the peak of Helvellyn, Britain's third highest mountain, William Wordsworth was inspired to write - 'From the watch-towers of Helvellyn: Awed, delighted, and amazed!'2 In Glover's painting the mighty Helvellyn is seen to the east, viewed from the south, Raven Crag rises to the west of Leathe's Water, and mounts Skiddaw and Saddleback are in the further distant east. Amidst such natural splendour, Glover engaged a clarity and high finish to enable the achievements of human endeavour also to be seen, not insignificant within such wonders. A boatman plies still waters, sheep graze on cleared land, and a home finds its place among the woods - believed to be Dalehead Hall, the ancestral home of the Leath family since Elizabethan times of the seventeenth century. Glover envelops all in a mood of calm and classical order, the nobility of man nestled within that of nature in the sparkling light and wondrous beauty of the landscape of Cumbria.1. When Glover settled in Tasmania, he called his property 'Patterdale' after this village in the Lakes District.2. On Her First Ascent to Helvellyn DAVID THOMAS

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J.S. CALDER active 1860s, PORT PHILLIP BAY, FROM THE SOUTH WEST CORNER OF ROYAL PARK ACROSS BATMAN'S SWAMP (WEST MELBOURNE SWAMP) TO PORT MELBOURNE WITH WILLIAMSTOWN TRAIN CROSSING, c1860s, oil on canvas

Lot 47: J.S. CALDER active 1860s, PORT PHILLIP BAY, FROM THE SOUTH WEST CORNER OF ROYAL PARK ACROSS BATMAN'S SWAMP (WEST MELBOURNE SWAMP) TO PORT MELBOURNE WITH WILLIAMSTOWN TRAIN CROSSING, c1860s, oil on canvas

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Description: J.S. CALDER active 1860s, PORT PHILLIP BAY, FROM THE SOUTH WEST CORNER OF ROYAL PARK ACROSS BATMAN'S SWAMP (WEST MELBOURNE SWAMP) TO PORT MELBOURNE WITH WILLIAMSTOWN TRAIN CROSSING, c1860s, oil on canvasSIGNED: signed lower right: J.S. CALDERDIMENSIONS: 94.0 x 155.5 cmLITERATURE: Illus. on Picture Victoria, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, , viewed 13 March 2014 (as James Calder, 'Painting of view from Royal Park across West Melbourne swamp', c1860s)PROVENANCE: Private collection, Melbourne Christie's, Melbourne,1 March 1973, lot 250 Private collection Christie's, Sydney, 22 October 1975, lot 376 Private collection Leonard Joel, Melbourne, 27 May 1981, lot 906 Private collection, MelbourneESSAY: This 1860s view of Port Phillip Bay from Royal Park depicts an exciting moment in Melbourne's early development. The clear blue lagoon of Batman's Swamp and the surrounding meadows and tea tree thickets are yet to be despoiled, dozens of sailing ships anchored in the bay, still bringing diggers to the goldfields, with a building boom gradually filling Sandridge (Port Melbourne) and Williamstown. The main part of the city is out of view over the hills on the left, leaving a rural idyll with only scattered traces of the incursion of civilisation.The rider looks down on an Aboriginal man holding a spear and wearing a possum skin cloak. Aboriginal people still congregated around the settlement, but by 1860 they were a rare site in Melbourne with just 28 Bunurong and Woiwurrung (of which the Wurundjeri were the main clan) recorded in the census before they were removed to Coranderrk in 1863.Royal Park was an important Wurundjeri camping ground, described by John Batman as, 'thinly timbered with gum and wattle and she-oak'. The Park originally comprised 2,500 acres (625 hectares), and was created by Governor Latrobe on his last day in Melbourne in 1854. Latrobe had previously limited land sales within five miles of Melbourne to preserve the town reserve. It became an important gathering place for Melburnians, such as when a vast crowd watched Burke and Wills set out on 20 August 1860 to cross the continent from south to north. It would be interesting to know if Calder painted his scene after this event.The view is from the high ground near North Melbourne, possibly around Canning and Shiel Streets, looking south to Port Phillip Bay with the Williamstown promontory on the right, Batman's Hill in the left distance, and Arthurs Seat on the horizon (just above the rider). Cattle graze around the swamp margins, where a decade later pumps were installed and a channel dug to drain the swamp and the Moonee Moonee Chain of Ponds, now Moonee Ponds Creek.The low land between Melbourne and Williamstown rose from the swamp to Batman's Hill and Flagstaff Hill, where a grassy woodland of eucalypts, wattles and she oaks was considered 'the prettiest part of Melbourne'. The dead stag on the left was probably a Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora) or Yellow Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon). The foreground vegetation is imaginative, but may represent Tree Violet (Hymenanthera dentata) and Flax Lily (Dianella spp.) on the escarpment. This is now the Docklands, rail yards and port area.Sails appear to glide through the trees in the distance, but this is where the Yarra ran on its tortuous course, lined with Swamp Paperbark (Melaleuca ericifolia) along Humbug Reach and Fishermen's Bend before excavation of the Coode Canal straightened and widened it.A number of historically accurate features are shown, including the causeway of the Geelong and Williamstown Railway with its bridge over what is now Moonee Ponds Creek, the chimneys and bottle shaped kilns of the North Melbourne pottery just in front of the swamp. Tanneries and houses are along Flemington Bank (the swampy margins on Moonee Ponds Creek) and Kensington Hill. The 1852 Point Gellibrand Lighthouse in the centre distance stands prominently in its coat of whitewash. It was converted to a timeball tower in 1858, and then back to a lighthouse in 1925, then reverted to a timeball in the 1980s restoration, but with bare bluestone rather than whitewashed. The buildings along Nelson Place to the right of the lighthouse include the threestorey Oriental Hotel (built 1854 as Cox's Family Hotel then renamed the Barkly Arms Hotel in 1857), which still stands today but is proposed for demolition.GARRY VINES Senior Historical Archaeologist, Biosis Research to date has been unable to reveal the identity of the artist J.S. Calder. A past attribution to the Tasmanian surveyor James Erskine Calder (1808 - 1882) which appears on the painting's title plaque is erroneous.

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JULES JOSEPH LEFEBVRE 1836 - 1911, French, LA CIGALE, 1872, oil on panel

Lot 48: JULES JOSEPH LEFEBVRE 1836 - 1911, French, LA CIGALE, 1872, oil on panel

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Description: JULES JOSEPH LEFEBVRE 1836 - 1911, French, LA CIGALE, 1872, oil on panelSIGNED: signed and dated upper left: Jules LeFebvre 1872DIMENSIONS: 32.0 x 15.0 cmPROVENANCE: Private collection, Paris Private collection, Melbourne Leonard Joel, Melbourne Private collection, MelbourneESSAY: Jules Joseph Lefebvre's La Cigale comes from that grand period of French Salon painting when narrative reigned supreme. Drawn from history, biblical and classical sources, the female nude so populated their paintings that Théophile Gautier called the 1863 Salon the 'Salon of Venus'.1 Young Parisian models were transformed into goddesses of love, liberty, and other uplifting notions. One such, Lefebvre's La Vérité, 1870 had its genesis at the same time as Frédéric Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty; similar of pose, the former revealing all through her naked state.2 Nineteenth-century Paris was the artistic capital of the world; but the names on people's lips were not Claude Monet or Paul Cézanne, rather Alexandre Cabanel and Jean-Léon Gérôme. Gérôme also became the darling of collectors from the United States of America, his Pygmalion and Galatea, 1890 residing today in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was the annual Paris Salon, the Salon of the Société des Artistes Français, that determined who was who in the world of art.3 Paintings of Greek and Roman times provided all the grandeur of Hollywood epics, their Marilyn Monroes dubbed 'Venus', or 'Circe'. While nudes abounded, they were respectively veiled in history, boudoir eroticism masked in the acceptability of mythology or classicism. The artists were also much given to allegory and moralising, Lefebvre's La Cigale being a classic example. Lefebvre took his subject 'la cigale', (the cicada or grasshopper) from Aesop's well-known fable of the grasshopper and the ant, quoting Fontaine's translation when he exhibited the larger version in the 1872 Salon - 'Quand la bise fut venue' (When the cold wind blows). Aesop tells that while the ant laboured to store up food in the good times of summer, the grasshopper sang and danced the time away. With the coming of autumn cold, la cigale in her nakedness, realizes her vulnerability and that the season of winter will be as bare as she. As often in his art, Lefebvre engaged maiden beauty, on this occasion to narrate the fate of the unprepared. It has been suggested that Lefebvre also had in mind recent French history, the disastrous Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, of Napoleon III's lack of preparation, economic collapse and the Commune uprising. This was the prelude to La Cigale's debut in the 1872 Salon. It's popularity led to the painting of several versions including the monumental one in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, acquired in 2005. Her companion, Lefebvre's Chloe, 1875, is one of Australia's great icons, displayed resplendent in Young and Jackson's Hotel in Melbourne city. Lefebvre's paintings likewise enrich many of the world's great collections - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and The Heritage Museum, St Petersburg, included. 1. Wolf, N., The Art of the Salon: The Triumph of 19th-Century Painting, Prestel, New York, 2012, p. 62. The Emperor Napoleon III was so taken by Cabanel's Birth of Venus in the1863 Salon that he bought it there and then for the outrageous sum of 20,000 francs.2. Lefebvre's La Vérité, 1870 is now in the collection of the Musee d'Orsay, Paris.3. Often referred to as the 'Old Salon'. DAVID THOMAS

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KATE O'CONNOR 1876 - 1968, New Zealand/Australian, LUXEMBOURG GARDENS, PARIS, GIRL SKETCHING, c1917-23, oil on board

Lot 49: KATE O'CONNOR 1876 - 1968, New Zealand/Australian, LUXEMBOURG GARDENS, PARIS, GIRL SKETCHING, c1917-23, oil on board

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Description: KATE O'CONNOR 1876 - 1968, New Zealand/Australian, LUXEMBOURG GARDENS, PARIS, GIRL SKETCHING, c1917-23, oil on boardSIGNED: signed with initials lower left: KOC signed (twice) verso: Oconnor signed and inscribed on artist's label verso: Luxemberg [sic] Gardens / Paris / Girl sketching / KLOConnorDIMENSIONS: 42.5 x 59.5 cmLITERATURE: Harris, M., 'Kate O'Connor', Art and Australia, vol. 3, no. 4, March 1966, p. 271 (illus.)PROVENANCE: Mervyn Horton, Sydney (label attached verso) Private collection, Perth Sotheby's, Sydney, 15 August 2000, lot 68 Private collection, PerthESSAY: Kate O'Connor's paintings captivate through their superb handling of colour and informal mastery, a moment captured as a work of art. The Luxembourg Gardens in Paris inspired many, all handled with an ease that is redolent of their time and place - of ladies relaxing, nurses of Brittany with children in their care, and the delightful Woman in a Hat Sketching - Luxembourg Gardens, once in the collection of the artist Robert Campbell, one time director of the Art Gallery of South Australia.1 The affinity between this work and our Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, Girl Sketching goes beyond the thematic in harmony of painterly pleasure and engaging mood. Yet, imbued as they are with relaxation, each is enlivened by the strokes of the brush, full of movement and interchange - silently talkative. They are not conversation pieces in the traditional sense, rather conversations shared with the viewer through their liveliness and spontaneity, frequent back views balancing intimacy with anonymity. The outstanding quality of our painting is acknowledged by its provenance, once being in the collection of the leading Sydney connoisseur, Mervyn Horton, founder-editor of Art and Australia, refined of taste and perception.Many an Australian artist was attracted to the Luxembourg Gardens during the first two decades of the twentieth century - Bessie Davidson, Hilda Rix Nicholas, Marie Tuck, and of course Emanuel Phillips Fox, his English wife Ethel Carrick Fox, and Rupert Bunny. Bunny possibly introduced O'Connor to the gardens, for it was here that he found inspiration to do a series of paintings of the spring of 1909, the same year O'Connor was briefly his pupil. O'Connor's early Luxembourg Gardens paintings date from 1910-14.2 Two, Esquisse (Jardin du Luxembourg) and Equisse were exhibited in the 1913 Salon d'Automne, achieving the distinction of being favourably reviewed.3 Like Carrick towards the end of the Great War, O'Connor returned to the gardens in 1917, when her beautifully muted palette showed the further enriching influence of Edouard Vuillard, who O'Connor had met at that time. Writing years later, Max Harris referred to 'the singing chromatic scales she finds on her palette'.4 These hues, that lead to dissolution of form and flat patterning, conversely develop form through colour. One welcomes the new interest in paint surfaces, figures subtle in definition disappearing and appearing, inviting enjoyment of the painting's figurative and abstract qualities as one. The twenties were one of O'Connor's most creative periods, exhibiting Luxembourg Gardens scenes, portraits, and still lifes at the Paris Société des Artistes Indepéndants and the Salon d'Automne. Although O'Connor established a French reputation, her achievements were never fully realized in Australia. Her free-spirited style, derived from Irish-Celtic complexity and Australian directness, with an overlay of European sensibility, deserves more. 1. See Harris, M., 'Kate O'Connor', Art and Australia, vol. 3, no. 4, March 1966, p. 267 (illus.)2. For examples, see Gooding, J., Chasing Shadows: The Art of Kathleen O'Connor, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1996, pl. 60-653. Habert, M., Beaux Arts, Paris, 'De Mlle O'Connor, Le Blanc et les Dos, Les Dos et les Chaises, pochades bien assises ...' (Miss O'Connor, The Bench and the Backs, The Backs and the Chairs, well set out pochades ...). Quoted in Hutchings, P. AE., and Lewis, J., Kathleen O'Connor: Artist in Exile, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, Perth, 1987, pp. 169-1704. Harris, op. cit., p. 268 DAVID THOMAS

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IVOR HELE 1912 - 1993, THE BANGLE, oil on composition board

Lot 50: IVOR HELE 1912 - 1993, THE BANGLE, oil on composition board

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Description: IVOR HELE 1912 - 1993, THE BANGLE, oil on composition boardSIGNED: signed upper right: IVOR HELEDIMENSIONS: 60.0 x 90.5 cmPROVENANCE: Estate of the artist Leonard Joel, Melbourne, 29 March 1994, lot 181 Private collection Leonard Joel, Melbourne, 28 July 1998, lot 64 Private collection, MelbourneESSAY: In art, the female nude has commanded a long and fascinating history, revealing her times in countless images and ideas. The Paleolithic Venus of Willendorf gave hope of magical fertility; Titian's Venus of Urbino, 1538 was once thought of in the most seductive terms; and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907 opened the way for a whole new path in Western art.1 Eve tantalized and transgressed; Cleopatra conquered Caesar; and Velásquez's Rokeby Venus, 1651 survived the Spanish Inquisition and the later attacks of the suffragette Mary Richardson.2 Erotic appeal adopted many guises over the centuries, often flirting between concealment and open display, as a touch of velvet or transparent veil added to enticement.A powerful sense of masculinity pervades Ivor Hele's work. One of Australia's most successful portrait painters - he won the Archibald Prize five times - his sitters, ranging from art gallery director Laurie Thomas to Sir Robert Menzies, are all images of men's men. The same is found in his self portraits, firm of jaw line and direct in look. The character of man and his physical prowess continued in his war pictures when official World War II artist in North Africa and New Guinea, and again in 1952 in Korea. In his large, 1954 commissioned painting of the opening of Federal Parliament by Queen Elizabeth II, it is not surprising to find it filled with the feeling of the monarch surrounded by all the Queen's men. And then there are his subject pictures such as The Pick Up, 1952, where ladies of Rubenesque endowment evoke moments of classical mythology in a kind of contemporary golden age where nudity, freedom, and energy abound. It is a good life to be lived to the full, and woman is man's desirable partner in all her physicality.In his love of the human figure, drawings and paintings of the female nude make up a major part of Hele's oeuvre. As in The Bangle, each has a spontaneity that adds to their appeal. This is found as much in the imagery as in the brilliant technique. A caressing line excites a drawing's masterly draughtsmanship. The active play of light over body and garments in The Bangle combines with the déshabillé, of moments of passion past captured in recollection. The pose, nevertheless, invites desire through its glistening, provocative splendour, enticed by the gartered top to the black stocking and discarded patent shoes casually composed nearby. Ivor Hele's mastery of the erotic, so redolent of the 1960s, challenges the best of any Australian artist.1. In the collections of the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, and the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, respectively.2. National Gallery, London DAVID THOMAS

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