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John Passmore Sold at Auction Prices

Painter, b. 1904 - d. 1984

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      • JOHN PASSMORE (1904-1984), The Catch 1955
        Jun. 26, 2024

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904-1984), The Catch 1955

        Est: $18,000 - $25,000

        PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, SYDNEY JOHN PASSMORE (1904-1984) The Catch 1955 oil on board 34.0 x 62.0 cm; 51.5 x 80.0 cm (framed) signed with initials and dated lower right: J. P 55

        Menzies
      • JOHN PASSMORE, (1904 - 1984), Nothing Take Them Back To This - c1950s, oil on board, 36.5 x 44.5 cm (frame: 51 x 59.5 cm)
        May. 28, 2024

        JOHN PASSMORE, (1904 - 1984), Nothing Take Them Back To This - c1950s, oil on board, 36.5 x 44.5 cm (frame: 51 x 59.5 cm)

        Est: $5,000 - $7,000

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904 - 1984) Nothing Take Them Back To This - c1950s oil on board signed lower right, titled upper left

        Lawsons
      • PASSMORE John (1904-1984), 'Woman on Bed', Oil on Board, 75x99cm
        May. 26, 2024

        PASSMORE John (1904-1984), 'Woman on Bed', Oil on Board, 75x99cm

        Est: $6,000 - $8,000

        PASSMORE, John (1904-1984) 'Woman on Bed' Initialled lower right. Oil on Board 75x99cm PROVENANCE: The Estate of Joy Marchant, Sydney; private collection, Victoria.

        Davidson Auctions
      • JOHN RICHARD PASSMORE - STILL LIFE - OIL ON CANVAS
        May. 21, 2024

        JOHN RICHARD PASSMORE - STILL LIFE - OIL ON CANVAS

        Est: $12,000 - $18,000

        JOHN RICHARD PASSMORE (1904-1984) STILL LIFE Oil on canvas 32 x 37.5cm Estimate $12,000/18,000 AUD

        GFL Fine Art
      • John Passmore, (1904-1984), Landscape, 1957, oil on canvas, 96.5 x 112 cm
        May. 21, 2024

        John Passmore, (1904-1984), Landscape, 1957, oil on canvas, 96.5 x 112 cm

        Est: $8,000 - $12,000

        John Passmore (1904-1984) Landscape, 1957 oil on canvas signed and dated l.r.c. 'JP, '57' signed, dated and titled on stretcher verso, 'John Passmore, 1957, Landscape'

        Shapiro Auctioneers
      • John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Sketch with Figures and Colour Patches, early 1970s
        May. 07, 2024

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Sketch with Figures and Colour Patches, early 1970s

        Est: $7,000 - $10,000

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Sketch with Figures and Colour Patches, early 1970s initialed lower right: 'J.P.' oil on hardboard 47.0 x 61.5cm (18 1/2 x 24 3/16in).

        Bonhams
      • JOHN PASSMORE (1904-1984), Study for Prawn Boats IV c. 1954
        Apr. 21, 2024

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904-1984), Study for Prawn Boats IV c. 1954

        Est: $2,000 - $3,000

        ink and watercolour on paper 57.5 x 83cm PROVENANCE Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne Private Collection, Melbourne

        Gibson's
      • § JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 Figure Reclining on Beach oil on composition board 72 x 94.5 cm
        Apr. 17, 2024

        § JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 Figure Reclining on Beach oil on composition board 72 x 94.5 cm

        Est: $50,000 - $70,000

        § JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 Figure Reclining on Beach oil on composition board 72 x 94.5 cm PROVENANCE John Passmore, Sydney Private Collection Mr Harold Mertz, New York The University of Texas, Austin, United States of America, gift from the above in 1972 (label verso) The Harold E Mertz Collection of Australian Art, Christie's Australia, Melbourne, 28 June 2000, lot 51, illustrated Private Collection, Sydney, acquired from the above Important Australian Art, Smith & Singer (trading as Sotheby's Australia), Sydney, 27 August 2019, lot 3, illustrated Private Collection, New South Wales, acquired from the above EXHIBITED The Mertz Collection of Contemporary Australian Painting, National Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 10 March - 11 April 1966, no. 70 The Australian Painters 1964-66: Contemporary Australian Painting from the Mertz Collection, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 10 March - 16 April 1967, no. 111, illustrated Legends and Landscape in Australian Art: A Selection of Paintings from the Harold E Mertz Collection at the Archer M Huntington Art Gallery, The University of Texas at Austin, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, 9 November - 19 December 1986

        Smith & Singer
      • PASSMORE John (1904-1984), 'Bathers,' 1951., Oil on Board, 24.5x34.5cm
        Nov. 25, 2023

        PASSMORE John (1904-1984), 'Bathers,' 1951., Oil on Board, 24.5x34.5cm

        Est: $6,000 - $8,000

        PASSMORE, John (1904-1984) 'Bathers,' 1951. Oil on Board 24.5x34.5cm PROVENANCE: Sotheby's, Melbourne, 24th August 2009 (lot 65)

        Davidson Auctions
      • PASSMORE John (1904-1984), Figures and Boat, Gouache on Newsprint, 15x24cm
        Aug. 20, 2023

        PASSMORE John (1904-1984), Figures and Boat, Gouache on Newsprint, 15x24cm

        Est: $800 - $1,500

        PASSMORE, John (1904-1984) Figures and Boat Unsigned. Newsprint dated December 31st, 1951. Gouache on Newsprint 15x24cm PROVENANCE: The artist; Lou Klepac collection; private collection, Sydney (acquired from the above 2010).

        Davidson Auctions
      • PASSMORE John (1904-1984), Figures by the Sea, with Man Diving., Gouache on Newsprint, 16x14cm
        Aug. 20, 2023

        PASSMORE John (1904-1984), Figures by the Sea, with Man Diving., Gouache on Newsprint, 16x14cm

        Est: $800 - $1,500

        PASSMORE, John (1904-1984) Figures by the Sea, with Man Diving. Unsigned Gouache on Newsprint 16x14cm PROVENANCE: The artist; Lou Klepac collection; private collection, Sydney (acquired from the above 2010).

        Davidson Auctions
      • JOHN PASSMORE, [HARBOUR LANDSCAPE], C.1956
        May. 03, 2023

        JOHN PASSMORE, [HARBOUR LANDSCAPE], C.1956

        Est: $12,000 - $18,000

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904 - 1984) [HARBOUR LANDSCAPE], c.1956 oil on composition board 35.5 x 43.5 cm signed with initials lower right: JP PROVENANCE Private collection, Victoria  © John Passmore Museum, Sydney

        Deutscher and Hackett
      • John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Bathers, c.1930
        Apr. 23, 2023

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Bathers, c.1930

        Est: $6,000 - $9,000

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Bathers, c.1930 initialled lower right: 'JP' oil on canvas on board 23.0 x 38.0cm (9 1/16 x 14 15/16in).

        Bonhams
      • John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Abstract Sketch, 1970s
        Apr. 23, 2023

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Abstract Sketch, 1970s

        Est: $7,000 - $10,000

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Abstract Sketch, 1970s initialled lower left: 'JP' inscribed verso: 'OIL SKETCH / C.1970s' oil on composition board 60.0 x 66.0cm (23 5/8 x 26in).

        Bonhams
      • John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Damson Summer, c.1951-54
        Apr. 23, 2023

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Damson Summer, c.1951-54

        Est: $20,000 - $30,000

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Damson Summer, c.1951-54 oil on canvas 51.0 x 64.0cm (20 1/16 x 25 3/16in).

        Bonhams
      • PASSMORE John (1904-1984), Figures and Boat, Gouache on Newsprint, 15x24cm
        Mar. 19, 2023

        PASSMORE John (1904-1984), Figures and Boat, Gouache on Newsprint, 15x24cm

        Est: $1,000 - $2,000

        PASSMORE, John (1904-1984) Figures and Boat Unsigned. Newsprint dated December 31st, 1951. Gouache on Newsprint 15x24cm PROVENANCE: The artist; Lou Klepac collection; private collection, Sydney (acquired from the above 2010).

        Davidson Auctions
      • PASSMORE John (1904-1984), Figures by the Sea, with Man Diving., Gouache on Newsprint, 16x14cm
        Mar. 19, 2023

        PASSMORE John (1904-1984), Figures by the Sea, with Man Diving., Gouache on Newsprint, 16x14cm

        Est: $1,000 - $2,000

        PASSMORE, John (1904-1984) Figures by the Sea, with Man Diving. Unsigned Gouache on Newsprint 16x14cm PROVENANCE: The artist; Lou Klepac collection; private collection, Sydney (acquired from the above 2010).

        Davidson Auctions
      • John Passmore (1904-1984)
        Nov. 22, 2022

        John Passmore (1904-1984)

        Est: $4,000 - $6,000

        Untitled, 1956 gouache on newspaper

        Shapiro Auctioneers
      • John Passmore (1904-1984)
        Nov. 22, 2022

        John Passmore (1904-1984)

        Est: $4,000 - $6,000

        Untitled, 1956 gouache on newspaper

        Shapiro Auctioneers
      • John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Study for the Prawn Boats IV, c.1954
        Aug. 23, 2022

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Study for the Prawn Boats IV, c.1954

        Est: $3,000 - $5,000

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Study for the Prawn Boats IV, c.1954 ink and wash on coloured paper 59.0 x 84.0cm (23 1/4 x 33 1/16in). For further information on this lot please visit the Bonhams website

        Bonhams
      • JOHN RICHARD PASSMORE - STUDY - Oil on card
        Aug. 21, 2022

        JOHN RICHARD PASSMORE - STUDY - Oil on card

        Est: $3,000 - $5,000

        JOHN RICHARD PASSMORE (1904-1984) STUDY Oil on card 35 x 45cm $3,000/5,000

        GFL Fine Art
      • JOHN PASSMORE, THE SEAGULL, 1958
        Aug. 16, 2022

        JOHN PASSMORE, THE SEAGULL, 1958

        Est: $10,000 - $15,000

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904 – 1984) THE SEAGULL, 1958 oil on newspaper on composition board 43.0 x 61.0 cm 56.5 x 74.5 cm (frame) signed with initials lower right: JP signed and inscribed with date and title verso: John Passmore /”The Seagull”/1958 PROVENANCE The Estate of the Artist, Sydney Fred & Elinor Wrobel, Sydney Christie’s, Melbourne, 11 April 1990, lot 127 Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne The Cbus Collection of Australian Art, Melbourne, acquired from the above, 4 February 1991 EXHIBITED BUS Art Collection, Wollongong City Gallery, Wollongong, New South Wales, 16 March – 12 April 1992, cat. 42 on long term loan to Gippsland Art Gallery, Melbourne  LITERATURE Nainby, B., Stanhope, Z., and Furlonger, K., The Cbus Collection of Australian Art, in association with Latrobe Regional Gallery, Melbourne, 2009, pp. 15, 89 (illus.), 228

        Deutscher and Hackett
      • JOHN RICHARD PASSMORE - IN THE STUDIO - Oil on board
        May. 24, 2022

        JOHN RICHARD PASSMORE - IN THE STUDIO - Oil on board

        Est: $35,000 - $55,000

        JOHN RICHARD PASSMORE (1904-1984) IN THE STUDIO Signed lower right Oil on board 77 x 92cm $35,000/55,000

        GFL Fine Art
      • JOHN PASSMORE, THE RED ROCK, 1951
        May. 04, 2022

        JOHN PASSMORE, THE RED ROCK, 1951

        Est: $40,000 - $60,000

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904 - 1984) THE RED ROCK, 1951 oil on hardboard 91.5 x 61.0 cm signed and dated lower right: J. PASSMORE 51 signed and inscribed with title verso: The Red Rock / J. Passmore PROVENANCE Douglas Watson, Sydney Philip Bacon Gallery, Brisbane Private collection, Sydney, acquired from the above in August 1985 EXHIBITED John Passmore, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, November – December 1951, cat. 5 John Passmore 1904 – 84 Retrospective, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 December 1984 – 10 February 1985, cat. 18 LITERATURE Pearce, B., John Passmore 1904 – 84, Retrospective, Art Gallery New South Wales, Sydney, 1985, p. 45 (illus.)  ESSAY John Passmore left Australia for Europe in 1933 and did not return for seventeen years. His years abroad were well spent gaining firsthand knowledge of the old masters and the upheavals in Western painting taking place in Europe and reverberating around the world.   When he returned to Australia in 1951, Passmore became the ‘Pied Piper’ of progressive painting through his various teaching roles, including at the National Art School in Sydney. He was a natural teacher; his wit and enthusiasm inspired his students to look beyond the academic brown Australian paintings of the day towards the innovations of Picasso, Matisse and Cézanne. A gaggle of devoted students hung on his every word and laughed along with his quick wit and humour. His passion for Tintoretto and Rembrandt was front and centre, but it was Cézanne whose influence gripped the artist very early and subsequently wove its way through his entire oeuvre.   Passmore’s friendship with the British painter Keith Vaughan inspired him to look closer at the works of Picasso and Matisse. This led them to revisit some early experimental cubist drawings the pair had developed in the 1930s while working together at Lintas advertising agency. Vaughan’s star was rising and in 1948 he had an exhibition at the Reid and Lefevre Gallery in London. The constructivist works in this exhibition signalled a shift back towards those earlier, cubist sketches he and Passmore had shared. Vaughan’s work from this time had an indelible impact on Passmore. Vaughan’s method of applying equal weight and value to figure, ground and colour, and his tug of war between realism and abstraction became central to Passmore’s work from this time forward.  In The Red Rock, 1951, the push and pull of the warm and cool colours create lush, deep, space that recedes to the distant upper left and draws forward toward the lower frontal third of the work. The two figures bathe carefree in an Idyllic surround. The reflective surface of the water proves to be a helpful pictorial device, allowing the artist to further fragment the light. Daubs of colour are used to pick out the figures, just enough to reward and satisfy the viewer’s scrutiny and need of subject, but once discovered the figures again dissolve into pockets of vibrant local colour. Passmore’s works from this period are some of the most complete paintings of his career. The painted surfaces are worked and reworked until they reach a finely tuned crescendo that quiver with nuance and feel. Passmore wore his influences on his sleeve and The Red Rock, 1951, is an excellent example of John Passmore via Cézanne and Keith Vaughan. At a stretch, we could consider a cameo of Rembrandt’s A Woman Bathing in a Stream, c.1654, for these are studio works and such references are entirely appropriate and legitimate. The Red Rock, 1951 was included in John Passmore’s one-man exhibition at the Macquarie’s Galleries in 1951, an exhibition which marked his return to Sydney and to exhibiting. Notably, Passmore rarely had solo exhibitions, preferring instead the ‘cut and thrust’ of group exhibitions where contemporary works could be compared and critiqued. After all, through the 1960s and far beyond, Passmore’s reputation as a teacher had reached guru status, so the group show would provide him and his work a context where he was most comfortable. HENRY MULHOLLAND © John Passmore Museum, Sydney

        Deutscher and Hackett
      • § JOHN PASSMORE (1904-1984) Untitled (Abstract) gouache on newspaper
        Mar. 22, 2022

        § JOHN PASSMORE (1904-1984) Untitled (Abstract) gouache on newspaper

        Est: $4,000 - $5,000

        § JOHN PASSMORE (1904-1984) Untitled (Abstract) gouache on newspaper signed and dated indistinctly lower right: J. PASSMORE / 19_6 58.5 x 82.5cm PROVENANCE: Lawson~Menzies, Sydney, 23 February 2012, lot 100 (label verso) Private collection, Melbourne

        Leonard Joel
      • JOHN RICHARD PASSMORE (1904 - 84) Bathers, oil on board, circa 1940s, 26.5 x 42cm With Macquarie Galleries label verso "certifying that this painting is an original work by John Passmore, painted in England during the 1940s, from the collection of
        Mar. 08, 2022

        JOHN RICHARD PASSMORE (1904 - 84) Bathers, oil on board, circa 1940s, 26.5 x 42cm With Macquarie Galleries label verso "certifying that this painting is an original work by John Passmore, painted in England during the 1940s, from the collection of

        Est: $8,000 - $12,000

        JOHN RICHARD PASSMORE (1904 - 84) Bathers, oil on board, circa 1940s, 26.5 x 42cm   With Macquarie Galleries label verso "certifying that this painting is an original work by John Passmore, painted in England during the 1940s, from the collection of Mr. Reginald Jenkins, at whose country house Passmore frequently stayed."   Passmore, like so many of Australia’s most rigorous artists who painted in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, studied Cézanne for most of his professional life. “... There's two things about Cézanne - you can imitate him as much as you like and you can fall flat on your face ... what you have to do is study him as deeply as he studied himself".     

        Leski Auctions Pty Ltd
      • JOHN PASSMORE, GIRL WITH CORN HAIR, c.1952
        Dec. 08, 2021

        JOHN PASSMORE, GIRL WITH CORN HAIR, c.1952

        Est: $20,000 - $30,000

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904 - 1984) GIRL WITH CORN HAIR, c.1952 oil on composition board 35.5 x 59.5 cm signed with initials lower right: JP signed and inscribed with title verso: Girl with Corn Hair / John Passmore PROVENANCE Private collection, Melbourne ESSAY Following his return from Europe in 1951, John Passmore quickly became Sydney’s torchbearer for progressive painting through his teaching roles at Julian Ashton’s, then the National Art School in Sydney. He was a natural teacher, and his outstanding comic talent and pure enthusiasm for painting inspired his students to look beyond the dreary academic brown paintings of the day, toward the European frontier of new painterly possibilities. Through the artistic turbulence of the 1950s, a gaggle of devoted students, including Peter Upward, William Rose and most notably, John Olsen, hung on his every word, savoured his humour, and indulged his habit of uttering Delphic maxims. In his meandering art classes, his passion for Tintoretto and Rembrandt was often front and centre, but it was Paul Cézanne whose influence gripped the artist early and wove its way through his life’s work, as is clearly evident in the present example. Passmore’s commitment to the advancement of painting expressed through his teaching helped to rekindle an earlier abstract art movement which had flickered out during the Second World War. The earlier generation of abstract painters were formal and analytical, combining bright colour with geometry. In contrast, Passmore’s approach was freewheeling, lyrical and expressive, while constantly returning to the figure and Cezanne as the armature for new truths and values in painting. The present example, Girl with Corn Hair, as inscribed verso by the artist is slightly misleading, as observation gently reveals that there are in fact four figures delicately embedded into the painting. The figures are so immersed into the surrounding landscape that they are barely discernible. One figurative touchstone which Passmore allows himself in this work are the deftly painted toes on the feet of the figures, which are visual pointers to the human forms and as such, become tiny gateways to the work. Typically, rhythms of light and shade flood his work, his repertoire of greens and yellows flicker and jostle as they compete for prominence. A dappled light falls across the work which adds to the idle, languid scene. No area of the painting is given more importance than another, and in this regard the synergy between the figures as subject and landscape as ground is crucial to Passmore’s attempts to create a culminated structure in his work. As John Olsen reflecting on Passmore says ‘…He spoke of his desire to create a work which… following Dylan Thomas’s suggestion of the sympathy between man and his environment he could find a way of becoming one with the natural forms he painted.’2  Today he is remembered as an elfin-like guru, a pied piper of fractured surface painting whose influence lives on through generations of lyrical abstract painters. Murray Bail, writing for Passmore’s 1984 – 85 retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales remembers, ‘Gradually over time everything fell away, even his Christian name. Unlike Arthur, Lloyd, Sid, Fred … he became known simply as Passmore. It seemed entirely appropriate, fitting the fact of his isolated shape which had become smaller and tighter. Passmore himself referred to himself as ‘Passmore’.’1  1. Olsen, J., Wrobel tapes 11, 10 March 1984 2. Bail, M., ‘Passmore’s Isolation’, addendum to Pearce, B., John Passmore 1904 – 84, Retrospective, Art Gallery New South Wales, Sydney, 1985 HENRY MULHOLLAND

        Deutscher and Hackett
      • JOHN PASSMORE (1904 - 1984) Working Drawings, 1950's ink and watercolour 20 x 48.5 cm (frame: 41 x 68 x 3 cm) unsigned. Von Bertouch...
        Sep. 23, 2021

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904 - 1984) Working Drawings, 1950's ink and watercolour 20 x 48.5 cm (frame: 41 x 68 x 3 cm) unsigned. Von Bertouch...

        Est: $200 - $300

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904 - 1984) Working Drawings, 1950's ink and watercolour 20 x 48.5 cm (frame: 41 x 68 x 3 cm) unsigned. Von Bertouch Galleries label verso

        Lawsons
      • PASSMORE John (1904-1984), 'Miraculous draft of fishes,' 1952., Pen & Ink, 20x25cm
        Aug. 15, 2021

        PASSMORE John (1904-1984), 'Miraculous draft of fishes,' 1952., Pen & Ink, 20x25cm

        Est: $400 - $700

        PASSMORE, John (1904-1984) 'Miraculous draft of fishes,' 1952. Unsigned. Pen & Ink 20x25cm PROVENANCE: Sir Russell Drysdale; Lou Klepac, Sydney.

        Davidson Auctions
      • PASSMORE John (1904-1984), Still Life, 1950s., Gouache on Newsprint, 23x32cm
        May. 16, 2021

        PASSMORE John (1904-1984), Still Life, 1950s., Gouache on Newsprint, 23x32cm

        Est: $500 - $800

        PASSMORE, John (1904-1984) Still Life, 1950s. Unsigned Gouache on Newsprint 23x32cm PROVENANCE: Russell Drysdale; Lou Klepac, Sydney.

        Davidson Auctions
      • John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Bathers
        Apr. 22, 2021

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Bathers

        Est: $20,000 - $25,000

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Bathers oil on board 54.0 x 60.0cm (21 1/4 x 23 5/8in). For further information on this lot please visit the Bonhams website

        Bonhams
      • Circle of John Passmore (1904 - 1984) Williamstown oil on canvas on board 16.5 x 22 cm (frame: 27x 32 x 3 cm) initialled lower left;...
        Feb. 25, 2021

        Circle of John Passmore (1904 - 1984) Williamstown oil on canvas on board 16.5 x 22 cm (frame: 27x 32 x 3 cm) initialled lower left;...

        Est: $800 - $1,200

        Circle of John Passmore (1904 - 1984) Williamstown oil on canvas on board 16.5 x 22 cm (frame: 27x 32 x 3 cm) initialled lower left; inscribed and titled verso

        Lawsons
      • John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Untitled, 1956
        Nov. 25, 2020

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Untitled, 1956

        Est: $7,000 - $10,000

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Untitled, 1956 gouache on newspaper 59.0 x 82.0cm (23 1/4 x 32 5/16in). For further information on this lot please visit the Bonhams website

        Bonhams
      • John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Untitled, 1956
        Nov. 25, 2020

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Untitled, 1956

        Est: $7,000 - $10,000

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Untitled, 1956 gouache on newspaper 59.0 x 82.0cm (23 1/4 x 32 5/16in). For further information on this lot please visit the Bonhams website

        Bonhams
      • John Passmore (1904-1984)
        Nov. 23, 2020

        John Passmore (1904-1984)

        Est: $6,000 - $8,000

        The Sand Fight, 1953 oil on board, signed and dated l.r.c. 'JP/53'

        Shapiro Auctioneers
      • JOHN PASSMORE, BATHERS, 1952
        Nov. 11, 2020

        JOHN PASSMORE, BATHERS, 1952

        Est: $60,000 - $80,000

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904 – 1984) BATHERS, 1952 oil on composition board 56.0 x 90.0 cm signed and dated lower right: JP 52 signed verso: J Passmore PROVENANCE Macquarie Galleries, Sydney Private collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above c.1952 EXHIBITED possibly: Sydney Painting 1952, Macquarie Galleries at Finney’s Gallery, Brisbane, 15 – 25 July 1952, cat. 46 (Bathers, 20gns) RELATED WORK The Bathers, 1951, oil on composition board, 91.0 x 183.0 cm, private collection, New South Wales ESSAY For me, a visit to the Art Gallery of New South Wales was never complete without a quick look at the group of John Passmore works, which occupied a small corner there for many years. This modest group of paintings dating from the early 1950s, bearing titles such as If you Don’t Believe me, Ask the Old Bloke, The Argument and The Fish Stealer, was a beautifully observed, perfectly weighted collection of pictures drawn from seaside life. Set amongst Passmore’s energetic brushwork, the swimmers jostle and cavort as they leap, fall or are pushed from the jetty. They are scenes of hilarity, with each work becoming the epitome of anecdote in paint. Bathers, 1952, is a major example of Passmore’s painting, which would fit perfectly amongst the group belonging to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. These delicately tuned compositions, poised precisely between chaos and order, successfully evoke the playful atmosphere, mood and energy of the entire activity, rather than merely depicting one aspect of the scene. The paintings featuring wharves and jetties had their genesis during the artist’s time teaching at the Newcastle Technical College. He had a room above the Star Hotel, near the College, where he also kept a studio. He also had a strong work ethic and lived frugally without distraction, an approach which enabled him to immerse himself in his painting, and which partly explains why works from this period are so consistent and focused in their execution. Around Newcastle he would spend weekends at seaside spots, observing the locals before returning to the studio and drawing obsessively before developing the sketches into paintings. Because the works were not painted en plein air, they are not tethered to the subject and therefore, with more than a nod to impressionism, deliver us a truer, more cinematic representation of the subject. On his return to Sydney, Passmore became the torch-bearer for progressive painting through his teaching role at the National Art School. He was a natural teacher; his wit and enthusiasm inspired his students to look beyond the academic brown paintings of the day. A gaggle of devoted students (most notably John Olsen) hung on his every word, savoured his humour and indulged his habit of uttering Delphic maxims. His passion for Tintoretto and Rembrandt was front and centre, but it was Cézanne whose influence gripped the artist early and wove its way through his entire oeuvre. Passmore also helped to rekindle an earlier abstract art movement, which had flickered out during the Second World War. The earlier generation of abstract painters were formal and analytical, combining bright colour with geometry. In contrast, Passmore’s approach was freewheeling, lyrical and expressive. Today he is remembered as an elfin-like guru, whose indelible influence lives on through generations of lyrical abstract painters. Murray Bail, writing for Passmore’s 1984-85 retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales remembers, ‘Gradually over time everything fell away, even his Christian name. Unlike Arthur, Lloyd, Sid, Fred … he became known simply as Passmore. It seemed entirely appropriate, fitting the fact of his isolated shape which had become smaller and tighter. Passmore himself referred to himself as Passmore’.1 ‘Guard what is yours’ and ‘nothing in excess’ are two of his Delphic maxims that provide a small portal into Passmore’s approach to art and life. 1. Bail, M., ‘Passmore’s Isolation’, addendum to Pearce, B., John Passmore 1904 – 84, Retrospective, Art Gallery New South Wales, Sydney 1985 HENRY MULHOLLAND

        Deutscher and Hackett
      • JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 The Sand Fight 1953 oil on board 64 x 76 cm
        Sep. 02, 2020

        JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 The Sand Fight 1953 oil on board 64 x 76 cm

        Est: $8,000 - $12,000

        JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 The Sand Fight 1953 oil on board signed and dated 'JP/53' lower right 64 x 76 cm PROVENANCE Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne Private Collection Australian and European Paintings, Leonard Joel, Melbourne, 16 August 1994, lot 207, 'The Bathers', illustrated Private Collection, Melbourne, acquired from the above Private Collection, Melbourne, by descent from the above EXHIBITED Spring Exhibition: Recent Acquisitions, Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne, 18-29 October 1976, no. 75, illustrated

        Smith & Singer
      • John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Study for The Bathers, c.1951
        Sep. 01, 2020

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Study for The Bathers, c.1951

        Est: $8,000 - $12,000

        John Richard Passmore (1904-1984) Study for The Bathers, c.1951 oil on masonite 44.5 x 70.0cm (17 1/2 x 27 9/16in). For further information on this lot please visit the Bonhams website

        Bonhams
      • PASSMORE John (1904-1984), Landscape, c1949., Gouache, 32.5x24.5cm
        Aug. 16, 2020

        PASSMORE John (1904-1984), Landscape, c1949., Gouache, 32.5x24.5cm

        Est: $600 - $900

        PASSMORE, John (1904-1984) Landscape, c1949. No signature apparent. Gouache 32.5x24.5cm

        Davidson Auctions
      • John Passmore (1904 - 1984) - Nothing Take Them Back to this, c1950s 36.5 x 44.5 cm (frame: 58 x 57 x 3 cm)
        Jul. 30, 2020

        John Passmore (1904 - 1984) - Nothing Take Them Back to this, c1950s 36.5 x 44.5 cm (frame: 58 x 57 x 3 cm)

        Est: $4,000 - $6,000

        John Passmore (1904 - 1984) Nothing Take Them Back to this, c1950s oil on board 36.5 x 44.5 cm (frame: 58 x 57 x 3 cm) initialled lower right; titled upper left

        Lawsons
      • JOHN PASSMORE, LANDSCAPE, 1946
        Jul. 15, 2020

        JOHN PASSMORE, LANDSCAPE, 1946

        Est: $8,000 - $12,000

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904 – 1984) LANDSCAPE, 1946 oil on canvas 40.0 x 50.0 cm signed and dated lower right: J PASSMORE ’46 bears inscription verso: PASSMORE / JOHN bears inscription on frame verso: CF0495 PROVENANCE Private collection, Sydney Thence by descent Private collection, Victoria

        Deutscher and Hackett
      • JOHN PASSMORE, (1904 – 1984), WATERFRONT SERIES, FIGURES IN QUAY LANDSCAPE, c.1958 – 59, oil on cardboard
        Nov. 27, 2019

        JOHN PASSMORE, (1904 – 1984), WATERFRONT SERIES, FIGURES IN QUAY LANDSCAPE, c.1958 – 59, oil on cardboard

        Est: $4,000 - $6,000

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904 – 1984) WATERFRONT SERIES, FIGURES IN QUAY LANDSCAPE, c.1958 – 59 oil on cardboard SIGNED: signed with initials lower right: JP. DIMENSIONS: 42.0 x 20.0 cm PROVENANCE: Private collection, Sydney, acquired from the artist in 1959 (label attached verso) Raffan Kelaher and Thomas, Sydney, 31 March 2015, lot 21 Private collection, Melbourne

        Deutscher and Hackett
      • JOHN PASSMORE, (1904 – 1984), FIGURES IN LANDSCAPE, c.1958 – 59, oil on cardboard
        Nov. 27, 2019

        JOHN PASSMORE, (1904 – 1984), FIGURES IN LANDSCAPE, c.1958 – 59, oil on cardboard

        Est: $4,000 - $6,000

        JOHN PASSMORE (1904 – 1984) FIGURES IN LANDSCAPE, c.1958 – 59 oil on cardboard SIGNED: signed with initials lower right: JP. DIMENSIONS: 34.0 x 27.0 cm PROVENANCE: Private collection, Sydney, acquired from the artist in 1959 (label attached verso) Raffan Kelaher and Thomas, Sydney, 31 March 2015, lot 349 Private collection, Melbourne

        Deutscher and Hackett
      • John Passmore (1904 - 1984) - The Potato Seller 34 x 24 cm
        Nov. 14, 2019

        John Passmore (1904 - 1984) - The Potato Seller 34 x 24 cm

        Est: $1,000 - $1,500

        John Passmore (1904 - 1984) The Potato Seller oil on board 34 x 24 cm signed lower right

        Lawsons
      • John Passmore (1904 - 1984) - Untitled (Landscape) 22 x 15 cm
        Nov. 14, 2019

        John Passmore (1904 - 1984) - Untitled (Landscape) 22 x 15 cm

        Est: $400 - $600

        John Passmore (1904 - 1984) Untitled (Landscape) watercolour 22 x 15 cm unsigned: Riley Street Gallery Label on verso

        Lawsons
      • JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 Nudes oil on cardboard 35.5 x 30.5 cm
        Oct. 23, 2019

        JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 Nudes oil on cardboard 35.5 x 30.5 cm

        Est: $10,000 - $15,000

        JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 Nudes oil on cardboard signed 'JP' lower right 35.5 x 30.5 cm PROVENANCE Private Collection, Sydney Australian Modern Masters and 19th & 20th Century Australian and International Fine Art, Deutscher-Menzies, Melbourne, 3 May 2000, lot 128, illustrated Mrs Rae Rothfield, Melbourne, acquired from the above

        Smith & Singer
      • JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 Still Life with Fruit and Jug oil on canvas 39.5 x 49.5 cm
        Oct. 23, 2019

        JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 Still Life with Fruit and Jug oil on canvas 39.5 x 49.5 cm

        Est: $12,000 - $18,000

        JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 Still Life with Fruit and Jug oil on canvas 39.5 x 49.5 cm PROVENANCE Mrs Mary Jenkins, England Fine Australian and European Paintings, Sotheby's Australia, Melbourne, 25 August 1998, lot 104, illustrated Mrs Rae Rothfield, Melbourne, acquired from the above

        Smith & Singer
      • JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 Figure Reclining on Beach oil on composition board 72 x 94.5 cm
        Aug. 27, 2019

        JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 Figure Reclining on Beach oil on composition board 72 x 94.5 cm

        Est: $40,000 - $60,000

        JOHN PASSMORE 1904-1984 Figure Reclining on Beach oil on composition board 72 x 94.5 cm PROVENANCE Private Collection Mr Harold Mertz, New York The University of Texas, Austin, United States of America, gift from the above in 1972 (label verso) The Harold E Mertz Collection of Australian Art, Christie's Australia, Melbourne, 28 June 2000, lot 51, illustrated Private Collection, Sydney, acquired from the above EXHIBITED The Mertz Collection of Contemporary Australian Painting, National Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 10 March - 11 April 1966, no. 70 The Australian Painters 1964-66: Contemporary Australian Painting from the Mertz Collection, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 10 March - 16 April 1967, no. 111, illustrated Legends and Landscape in Australian Art: A Selection of Paintings from the Harold E Mertz Collection at the Archer M Huntington Art Gallery, The University of Texas at Austin, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, 9 November - 19 December 1986

        Smith & Singer
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