signed and titled ink by Cazneaux and annotated 'Bondi' in pencil in another hand with numeric stamp verso
29.1 x 18.5cm
This rare vintage photograph of body-surfing from the 1920s is one of the earliest depictions of Australian lads taking to the waves. It is easy to forget that it wasn’t until the 1960s that Australians who didn’t live near the beach were more familiar withpublic swimming pools and certainly less confident and accomplished swimmers than they are today.
“Many visitors (to the beach) contented themselves with paddling, but enough braved the surf in ignorance to keep the life-savers busy and elevate them to the status of bronzed gods”.
Jill White, Dupain’s Beaches, Chapter & Verse, 2000, p. 92.
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.
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.
In 2016 the world renowned South African artist William Kentridge undertook the creation of a 500 meter-long frieze, which spread across the walls flanking the Tiber River in Rome. The artist portrayed dominant tensions witnessed throughout the city’s rich history. More than eighty figures, up to ten meters high represented Rome’s greatest victories and defeats from mythological times to the present, forming a silhouetted procession on Piazza Tevere. Panther speaks to that incredibly ambitious project titled Triumphs and Laments.
The collection of Lewis Morely;
Private collection, Sydney
(1) Christine Keeler Seated with Chair, 1963, printed 2011,
C-type photograph printed on Fuji Crystal Archive Flex paper,
edition 48/150, signed in ink in lower margin, 30.5 x 40.6cm
(2) Lewis Morley: I To Eye, T&G Publishing, Sydney, 2011.
Hardcover book with dust jacket, 400 pages with over 270
duotoned and colour photographs; 8.1 x 47 x 36.4cm (box).
(3) Eight-page booklet entitled Lewis Morley: The Hidden
Nude with text by Lewis Morley.
This painting was most likely exhibited in Olsen’s 1969 solo exhibition, The Donemoochin Summer at the Rudy Komon Gallery. Komon was one of the early Woollahra gallerists and supported a great many of the mid-20th century’s most admired Australian artists.
This is a beautiful and warm, contemplative image where the artist has combined both a still life and landscape painting. Olsen would have completed this picture around the summer of 1968 to 1969, when he had retreated to an artist residence in Dunmoochin, in country Victoria.
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.
Tuckson undertook his final year of study in 1949 at East Sydney Technical College under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme for exservicemen. The figurative works from this period, through to the mid- 1950s, are among Tuckson’s most accomplished – they are raw, painterly and powerful. Each is masterfully constructed. While the influences of Picasso, Modigliani and Klee are apparent, the artist cited his two most inspiring mentors at the time to be Grace Crowley and Ralph Balson. Both these artists taught him briefly with their weekly classes in abstraction at East Sydney
Estate of the artist, Sydney. Thence by descent; Frannie Hopkirk, New South Wales, the artist’s sister; Private collection, Sydney, acquired from the above in 1997; Deutscher and Hackett, Australian + International Fine Art and Aboriginal Art, Sydney, 30/11/2016, Lot No. 81; Private collection, Sydney
In this serene painting the tonality and layering of the inks demonstrate aptly the artist’s growing interest and skill with calligraphic brush strokes. Whiteley was fascinated with eastern philosophies and painting techniques during this period of his ouevre. Stylistically, Brett Whiteley’s Lake in Bali (Lake Kintamani) references the Chinese painting tradition of ‘one corner’ that gently leads the gaze away from the corner of the frame. A related work, Jenny’s Lake, c. 1983 is in the collection of the Brett Whiteley studio.
During 1969-1970 Fred Williams had three major shows: a 1969 exhibition of new paintings that included ‘the strikingly innovative works’ of that year at Rudy Komon Gallery in Sydney; a further exhibition of selected paintings at Skinner Galleries, Perth, 1970 and perhaps most importantly the artist’s first museum exhibition, Heroic Landscape at the National Gallery of Victoria, 1970.1 This was the first time a major Fred Williams survey had been held in a state gallery and his paintings were exhibited alongside those of the eminent impressionist, Arthur Streeton.
Sapling Diptych was featured in an exhibition of works from the estate of Fred Williams at Philip Bacon Galeries in 2000.
1. Patrick McCaughey, Fred Williams, Bay Books, Sydney, 1980, p. 210