stainless steel painted butterflies, perspex box, fishing line
H: 130 x W: 130 x D: 20 cm, Diameter: 95cm
Blackbox is a small version of the installation “The Other Side of Midnight” a circle of 300 cm diameter where the front side features over 2000 hand painted stainless steel butterflies and the other side features insects. The installation is viewed in a dark room, lit by ultraviolet light projectors. Blackbox makes the circle glow in the dark and gives to it an impression of 3 dimensions.
Zadok Ben-David is an internationally acclaimed London-based artist. Born in Yemen and raised in Israel, he studied at London’s St. Martin’s School of art, where he also taught from 1977-1982. In 1988 he was selected to exhibit as Israel’s representative at the Venice Biennale.
Featuring the orchestra pit of the now demolished Theatre Royal in Adelaide, this exquisite watercolour captures the drama and intimate gestural relationship between the musicians and thier conductor. From a generation of female artists that include the likes of Grace Cossington-Smith and Margaret Preston, Black rebelled against social and familial expectation to pursue a career in art, resulting in a body of iconic Australian prints and paintings.
Bonhams, Important Australian and Aboriginal Art, Sydney, 22/11/2016, Lot no. 69;
Private collection, Melbourne
Interior scenes are among the most prized and successful of the artist’s pictures and this rare example dates from 1953. It is interesting to note that the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ major interior scenes The Window (1956) and Interior with Wardrobe Mirror (1955) both date from the same decade as this exquisite work.
Modiste Garnissant un Chapeau (Milliner Trimming a Hat)
charcoal on paper
44.5 x 55.6 cm
Galerie Georges Petit, 3ème Vente Atelier Edgar Degas, Paris, 5th April 1919, Lot 400 Christie’s, New York, 14th November 1996, Lot 130
Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale 24 June 2014. Lot 395
Modiste garnissant un chapeau is a preparatory drawing for the pastel (illustrated centre opposite) with the same title, which is in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. The fine charcoal work (illustrated opposite page) was acquired from the artist’s studio sale by Ambroise Vollard, the most important French art dealer of the early twentieth-century.
Modiste garnissant un chapeau exemplifies Degas’ talent for capturing the elegance of a gesture and the beauty in a fleeting pose. His drawings, pastels and oils were regularly exhibited together at the Impressionist exhibitions. This work captures a dynamic yet graceful moment as a milliner trims a broad-brimmed hat.
Degas’ series of images of milliners at work first appeared in the 1880s. He would frequently accompany friends to their appointments, entranced by the dextrious modelling by the milliner’s hands as they trimmed hats with colourful feathers and sumptuous materials.
This magnificent work was recently exhibited in a groundbreaking touring exhibition at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco at the Legion of Honor that examined, for the first time, Edgar Degas’ fascination with the subject of millinery. The theme of hat-making represents a crucial area of Degas’ exploration of Parisian modern life and was a focus for his formal experimentation for more than thirty years.
Held in AGNSW with date “1940” and comment “Dupain said of his day at Manly beach ‘Actions like this have to be anticipated; in this case by me standing out in the surf with camera and waiting for the start. One shot only—I had to be lucky and I was (Dupain 1986).’”
This is one of the top three beach images by Dupain.
This distinctive assemblage of retro-reflective road signs epitomises Rosalie Gascoigne’s poetic use of found objects, particularly those containing text. Cut up into fragments, rearranged and composed in a grid formation, the panels display orderly shapes of text against a bright yellow background with light-reflecting properties and a subtle ability to shimmer and shine.
Salvaged from the roadside or from rural tips and depots, Gascoigne used retro-reflective road sign material throughout her 25-year artistic career, which started when she was 57 years old. During this period she became one of the key figures in twentieth century Australian art.
Through her lyrical reuse of materials once part of the landscape, Gascoigne sought to transform her deeply felt experiences of the harsh rural Monaro district where she lived. Foraging its environs for discarded materials, Gascoigne created idiosyncratic works from an assortment of found objects – old wooden bottle crates, weathered fence palings, corrugated iron, worn linoleum – but her reuse of brightly coloured orange and yellow retro-reflective road signs is her most recognisable signature.
Frequently referred to as visual poetry, Gascoigne’s art employs techniques of fragmentation, repetition and juxtaposition – and while letters in her work are not coherent, language is central to the message and layered meaning. Her reuse of the light reflective material is equally important:
“I don’t want it to be dramatically lit, but I do want it to sometimes flash at you, as road signs do, and then go sullen, then flash, like a living thing” Rosalie Gascoigne, 1988.
This work was created in the same year that Kentridge produced the opera, Lulu. The opera is centred around the protagonist, a woman who during the course of the performance encounters many lovers and several husbands each time remaining faithful, not to the men but to her own desires. Lulu can’t be the woman the men imagine her to be. She can never reconcile her desires as the femme fatal nor as the faithful quiet wife. ‘Struggle for a good heart’ as seen in this work, speaks to that inner struggle.
thence by descent, the collection Mrs Anne Whiteman, Camden;
Private collection, Sydney
The painting was purchased from Rex Batterbee in Alice Springs by Mr and Mrs Whiteman while on their honeymoon. This painting includes the original receipt dated 24th June 1954, signed by Rex Battarbee, and a letter from Rex Battarbee, dated on the same day, to Mr Whiteman thanking him for the payment.
Signed and dated (lower right); also signed, titled and dated 16 Aug 1962 (on reverse)
Sold by the Artist to a Private Collection, UK
Agnew’s Gallery, London
Private collection, Sydney
This painting is part of a rare and important series of Kelly works dating from 1962. In this group of paintings, the Kelly head is framed by yellow, blue-black and red stripes. The coloured stripes are familiar from previous appearances within Nolan’s oeuvre – in the 1940s we see them in a Melbourne football jumper, in a St Kilda beach towel, a Dimboola railway signal or tiger brand flour bag.
Damian Smith has observed that the 1962 Kelly pictures present “a series of intriguing questions concerning the construction and presentation of public and private personas”. Such issues can be related not only to Kelly, but also to Nolan, who faced similar issues of celebrity. Smith’s is a plausible thesis; in 1962 Nolan had returned home to Australia for the first time since 1957, to take part in a whistle-stop tour involving the opening of an exhibition at the Skinner Galleries, Perth, the launch of a film about his work and a hectic schedule of press and television interviews. These paintings may well represent the outlaw-artist cornered by and defending himself against the onslaught of reputation and expectation.
On Kelly Study (1962), a similar Kelly work by Sidney Nolan from the same year as King Kelly, Edmund Capon AM OBE has remarked:
“I regard, without hesitation, Sidney Nolan as the great Australian painter of the twentieth century. This assertion is made not only for his constantly persuasive imagery and the sheer facility of his painting, but more for his seeing the Australian landscape, not as an end in itself, but as a theatre for the human drama to which he, with his turbulent life, made quite a contribution. Nolan populated our landscape with the human presence and thereby gave that overwhelming image, one that had so driven and shaped the Australian psyche, a whole new dimension, and indeed, purpose.
Nolan was an iconoclast, fiercely independent, ruthless with himself but richly endowed with a remarkable human spirit that was forever curious about the whys and wherefores of our presence here on earth. His relentless curiosity and his imagination were matched by his art; always direct, forthright and almost wilful in its apparent expediency. His portraits, such as this ironic image of his most famous subject, are redolent with his own distinctive traits and motifs: the Kelly-like mask, the coloured stripes, the sense of latent anger and that mysterious anonymous background which defies definition and hints at the void which cannot be defined; all are part of the indelible Nolan style. Nolan was a driven soul, relentless in his pursuit of emotional and intellectual adventure, which fed and furnished his art and gave it such urgency and purpose. There is nothing about Nolan’s art that is incidental or unnecessary”.
Signed lower left: Tom Roberts, inscribed reverse upper left: To my Darling/ Gwen on her/ 20 Birthday/ from Mother: inscribed reverse lower left: Dec 19 1929, inscribed reverse right: 17044/ 2
8.4 x 19.8cm
Mrs Winifred Onslow Dunban, Sydney (prior to 1915); by descent, Gwendolen Onslow Dunban (on her 20th birthday) 1929;
Deutscher Fine Art Exhibition, Melbourne, Nov/Dec 1988 Cat. No. 24, 1989;
Private collection, Sydney since 1988
Exhibition and Sale of Paintings by Tom Roberts, Previous to his leaving Australia, Society of Artists of New South Wales, Vickery’s Chambers, 76 Pitt Street, Sydney 14 November 1900, cat 28, At Watsons Bay, 1 ½ gns.
The location of this painting is Watsons Bay, specifically Camp Cove. It fits stylistically into a group of Harbour panels (of Circular Quay, Rose Bay, Kirribilli and Sirius Cove) executed by Tom Roberts in the late 1890’s.
A forty year old Tom Roberts married Lillie Williamson in Melbourne in early 1896; in January 1898 their son Caleb was born. After the marriage Roberts left the makeshift Curlew Camp at Sirius Cove, which he had shared with Arthur Streeton and others since coming up from Melbourne in 1891 and took up residence in Paul Street, Balmain. He continued however, to work and teach from a city studio in Pitt Street.
Roberts executed two historical bush-ranging subjects in the mid 1890’s, Bailed Up and In a corner on the Macintyre c1894-95. After 1895 he worked on the large droving theme, A mountain muster (c1897-98) but his small portrait studies and rare (compared with Streeton) Sydney Harbour views on un-primed cedar panel, such as, At Watsons Bay c1898, are arguably the most appealing works he created at the time.
The painting has a charming provenance – it was given to the previous owner by her mother, Winfred Onslow Dunban, on her 20th birthday in 1929.
acrylic and natural pigments on Japanese mulberry paper
130 x 162cm
Japanese-born painter Hiroshi Senju is noted worldwide for his sublime waterfall and cliff images, which are often monumental in scale. He combines a minimalist visual language rooted in Abstract Expressionism with ancient painting techniques unique to Japan. Senju is widely recognized as one of the few contemporary masters of the thousand-year-old nihonga style of painting, using pigments made from minerals, ground stone, shell and corals suspended in animal-hide glue.