Elton John auctions his Emily Kame Kngwarreye painting My Country

writes Michaela Boland in The Australian on 12 June 2017.

Elton John’s Emily Kame Kngwarreye landscape sold at auction for almost half a million dollars last week, ten times what the piano man bought it for two decades ago and double what Bonhams auction house expected as the bluechip art market continues its bull run.

Emily Kngwarreye
Aboriginal art specialist Francesca Cavazzini with My Country (1993) by Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

John and his husband David Furnish have been rationalising their immense art collection in recent years, Kngwarreye’s 1993 My Country landscape was the first of their Australian artworks offered to the market.

Competitive bidding by phone, online and in Bonhams’ Sydney saleroom took the 3.7-metre-wide painting well past its $150,000-$250,000 estimate, with a bidder in the room finally securing the work for $414,800, including the 22 per cent buyer’s premium.

In 1997 John spent $46,000 at Sotheby’s in Melbourne acquiring the vast landscape by the doyenne of Northern Territory artists.

In 2008 he loaned it to a major retrospective exhibition, Utopia: The Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, which toured to Japan before showing at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

The eclectic catalogue of 68 artworks sold for well above their $1.2 to $2.2 million dollar expectations carried by four pictures which sold for well above expectations.

Dealer David Hulme, bidding on behalf of clients, was the disappointed underbidder on several of those works but triumphed after a fierce competition for Roy de Maistre’s blue still life Magnolia oil on linen from 1928.

Hulme described the work as one of the finest modern pictures to come on this market this year. The new owner will pay $549,000 from a reserve of $80,000.

Art consultant Elisabeth Hastings, who catalogued the art collection of Aussie Homeloans founder John Symond, bought Brett Whiteley’s yellow Hummingbird and Frangipani board for $720,000 off a low estimate of $280,000.

Sidney Nolan’s pastel 1966 New Kelly landscape went for $524,000 from an estimate of $120,000.

Hulme said: “We’re seeing 2007 again. People have been competing far beyond the estimates.”

The Australian, 12 June 2017

Elton John auctions his Emily Kame Kngwarreye painting My Country was first published to: BH Fine Art


Dave’s Dupain Faves for the Mossgreen Sale on 19 June

I don’t know how long I have raved about Max Dupain (1911 – 1992) … too long perhaps, but to me, Dupain was not just the photographer who created Australia’s most iconic photograph, the “Sunbaker”, but he was also the first true art photographer.

Dupain had fine art training and was ever the great experimenter with his practice.

The estate sale of over 600 photographs through Mossgreen Auctions in Sydney on June 19th represents a golden opportunity to purchase a piece of magic by one of Australia’s greatest photographers. Yet to be recognised as a genius of his craft, I am sure this time will come.

You can view the offer from 16 June to 18 June 2017 in Sydney at the Mossgreen premises at 36 – 40 Queen Street, Woollahra, and also online on the Mossgreen website.

The auction of Max Dupain – Part II: The final estate photographs takes place on Monday, 19 June, at 36 – 40 Queen Street.

It is held in two sessions, with session 1 from 10.30 am – 1.30 pm for lots 1 – 224, and session 2, for lots 225 – 614, starting at 2 pm.

Anyway, enough of my rave, here are my Dave’s Dupain Faves:

Dupain lot 1
Lot 1 – Surf Race Start, c 1940, est. $2,000-4,000. Make a Splash


Lot 16 - Manly Beach, 1938, est. $500-800. That's My Beach
Lot 16 – Manly Beach, 1938, est. $500-800. That’s My Beach
Lot 73 - Fishing at Tathra, 1940s, est. $600-800. Young Tackers at Tathra
Lot 73 – Fishing at Tathra, 1940s, est. $600-800. Young Tackers at Tathra
083 Dupain
Lot 83 – (Circular Quay from North Pyon), est. $800-1,200. Climb the Bridge every day
Lot 85 Max Dupain
Lot 85 – (Picnicking at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, Sydney) est. $1,000-2,000. Coat hanger
Lot 116 Max Dupain
Lot 116 – (Night Exposure of Traffic on North Side Bridge and Luna Park), 1940s, est. $1,000-1,500. Vivid
Lot 128 Max Dupain
Lot 128 – Hobart Siesta, 1947, est. $2,000-4,000. Hobart Hats
Lot 137 Dupain
Lot 137 – (Finger Wharf by Night), est. 1,800-2,500. Trip the light fantastic
Lot 146 Dupain
Lot 146 – Csr Tomut, 1977, est. $1,500-2,500. Pumping
Lot 196 Dupain
Lot 196 – Nude Figure, Time and Light Motion, 1938, est. $1,200-1,800. Sunbaked
Lot 225 Dupain
Lot 225 – Little Nude, 1938, est. $5,000-8,000. Back Her
Lot 229 Dupain
Lot 229 – Nude Torso, 1935, est. $3,000-5,000. A lot of front
Lot 234 - Jean, 1930s, est. $700-1,000. Landscape, womanscape
Lot 234 – Jean, 1930s, est. $700-1,000. Contemplate
Lot 247 Dupain
Lot 247 – Nude Figure, 1930s, est. $2,000-4,000. Landscape, womanscape
Lot 249 Dupain
Lot 249 – Off Beat, 1960, est. $700-1,000. Watch where you go before iPhones
Lot 266 - Male Commuters departing Ferry, est. $1,500-2,500. Manly Men, Manly Ferry
Lot 266 – Male Commuters departing Ferry, est. $1,500-2,500. Manly Men, Manly Ferry
Lot 267 - Moira in the Mirror, 1951, est. $1,500-2,500. Mirror, mirror on the wall
Lot 267 – Moira in the Mirror, 1951, est. $1,500-2,500. Mirror, mirror on the wall
Lot 292 - Street Scene, est. $600-800. Max Modernist Magic
Lot 292 – Street Scene, est. $600-800. Max Modernist Magic
Lot 305 - Dogman, 1962, est. $1,500-2,500. A Rope with a View
Lot 305 – Dogman, 1962, est. $1,500-2,500. A Rope with a View
Lot 317 - Stockyards, North Queensland, 1980, est. $600-800. Outback Max
Lot 317 – Stockyards, North Queensland, 1980, est. $600-800. Outback Max
Lot 447 Dupain
Lot 447 – Arum Lilies, 1930s, est. $1,000-1,500. Max does Man Ray

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Dave’s Dupain Faves for the Mossgreen Sale on 19 June was first seen on: http://bhfineart.com/

Bonhams Art Auction 6 June 2017

Bonhams offer 68 lots in their 6 June 2017 Sydney auction, mixing the very traditional of Aboriginal artefacts with the Australian modern greats like Roy de Maistre, Charles Blackman and Sidney Nolan and the very contemporary sculpture of Clement Meadmore.

You can view all offerings in Sydney at the NCJWA Hall at 111 Queen Street, Woollahra, from Friday, 2 June to Monday, 5 June, and also online at the Bonhams website.

The auction is held at the NCJWA Hall on 6 June, starting at 6.30 pm.

If you would like independent and unbiased advice on any lots, please contact us by phone 02 9977 7764 or email info@bhfineart.com. As always, we would be delighted to assist you so you can make a fully informed decision prior to on any art purchase.

And here are Dave’s Faves for your enjoyment:

Albert Namatjira
Lot 3 – Albert Namatjira, Ghost Gum, c. 1943, est. $20,000-30,00. Think I’ll become a tree hugger
Lot 9, Sidney Nolan, Ned Kelly, 1966, est. $120,000-180,000. Stands and Delivers
Lot 9, Sidney Nolan, Ned Kelly, 1966, est. $120,000-180,000. Stands and Delivers
Jeffrey Smart
Lot 10 – Jeffrey Smart, St John’s Church, London, c1948-50, est. $5,000-8,000. A modest Smart for a modest price
Emily Kngwarreye
Lot 15 – Emily Kame Kngwarreye, My Country, 1993, est. $150,000-250,000. Elton’s Emily
Lot 19 - Sidney Nolan, Ely Cathedral, 1950, est. $3,000-5,000. Glass with class
Lot 19 – Sidney Nolan, Ely Cathedral, 1950, est. $3,000-5,000. Glass with class
Charles Blackman
Lot 20 – Charles Blackman, Illusion of Children, c1966, est. $80,000-120,000. I’m enchanted
Lot 22 - Clement Meadmore, Start Up, 1999, est. $12,000-18,000. We all need more Meadmore
Lot 22 – Clement Meadmore, Start Up, 1999, est. $12,000-18,000. We all need more Meadmore
Lot 30 - Sydney Long, Evening Glow, Georges River, c1940, est. $9,000-12,000. Splendor in the Grass
Lot 30 – Sydney Long, Evening Glow, Georges River, c1940, est. $9,000-12,000. Splendor in the Grass
Lot 35 - Arthur Boyd, Mordialloc Creek, c1938, est. $12,000-18,000. Arthur goes abstract
Lot 35 – Arthur Boyd, Mordialloc Creek, c1938, est. $12,000-18,000. Arthur goes abstract
Brett Whiteley
Lot 37 – Brett Whiteley, Hummingbird and Frangipani, 1986, est. $280,000-350,000. Your very own bird in the hand
Sally Gabori
Lot 39 – Sally Gabori, King Alfred’s Country – Makakirr, 2007, est. $8,000-12,000. Gabori always tells us a colourful story
Lot 43 – Christo, The wrapped vestibule, project for the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney 1990, est. $1,000-2,000. Support your AGNSW
Roy de Maistre
Lot 48 – Roy de Maistre, Magnolia, 1928, est. $80,000-120,000. You say de Maistre and I say the Master

The following article Bonhams Art Auction 6 June 2017 is available on: David Hulme’s art blog

Australian art market gets fired up as auction records fall

writes Peter Fish in the “Australian Financial Review” on 10 May 2017.

The mood in the art market is reviving after almost a decade of flatlining annual sales. Evidence of increased dealer activity on behalf of private clients is mounting amid improving sentiment and the evidence of several successful sales this year – culminating in last week’s Sotheby’s Australia sale, where numerous works realised way above expectations.

A new mood of optimism prevailed at the weekend’s auction viewings in Sydney, where two of the major operators – Deutscher and Hackett, and Menzies – were airing their wares for upcoming sales.

The Sotheby’s sale, centred on the collection of former Mars confectionery executive and one-time Sydney Morning Herald editor David Newby, saw at least three trade buyers securing works on behalf of collectors, supported by solid private bidding.

Despite at least two dozen works going unsold from the 108 offered, the sale raised a total of $11.69 million on the hammer, more than 120 per cent of the total of the lower pre-sale estimates. Including Sotheby’s buyer’s premium of 22 per cent, the sale brought in a total of $14.26 million.

Fisherman, Coogee Beach, by Elioth Gruner achieved $164,700 at Sotheby's on May 3
Fisherman, Coogee Beach, by Elioth Gruner achieved $164,700 at Sotheby’s on May 3. A sure sign of an improving market.

It followed three earlier auctions which achieved buoyant results. Menzies’ Melbourne sale on February 9 raised $6.87 million, including premium, with 83 per cent of its lots sold. Deutscher and Hackett’s sale of art dealer Rob Gould’s collection in Sydney on March 15 raised $7.68 million with 72 per cent sold and the Laverty Collection Part III on April 5 raised $2.62 million with 94 per cent sold.

If the trend continues, it seems the Australian art market as a whole is set to break out of the $100 million to $110 million total annual tally at which it has largely languished since the boom year of 2007 – before the global financial crisis struck home.

Though it is still early days, D&H has already achieved more than half last year’s total tally, albeit helped along by two one-owner sales, while Sotheby’s has maintained its strong pace from last year, when it led the market.

The Australian Art Sales Digest website says total art sales at auction this year tally $36.49 million, almost double the $19.8 million figure generated at this point in 2016.

This week’s sales should add around $5 million to D&H’s tally of $10.29 million and $7 million to Menzies’ $6.87 million – bringing them both close to Sotheby’s $14.25 million. All three will exceed their sales for the first half of 2016.

Sotheby’s first sale of the year last week kicked off with a bang. Many of the Newby works sold at around double lower estimate, among them Elioth Gruner’s modest-sized Fisherman, Coogee Beach at $164,700, Justin O’Brien’s Palm Sunday at $183,000, Ray Crooke’s Thursday Island at $170,800 and Arthur Streeton’s diminutive The Path to Podge Newton’s at $292,800, with both the Gruner and the Crook setting artist records. More surprises on the upside quickly followed, including Jeffrey Smart’s Study for Holiday and Albert Tucker’s Explorer which both sold for $451,400.

The mixed vendor session that followed the Newby offerings saw Eugene von Guerard’s Breakneck Gorge, Hepburn Springs fetch $1.95 million and View of the Granite Rocks at Cape Woolamai $976,000, Russell Drysdale’s Head of a Boy at $610,000, Rosalie Gascoigne’s Summer Fat at $585,600 and Arthur Streeton’s Cremorne at $549,000.

John Brack’s dazzling flower study The Butcher’s Bouquet was unsold, but it was re-offered as a private sale by Sotheby’s this week.

Retired art dealer Tom Silver, who occasionally bids on behalf of clients, successfully secured three lots at Sotheby’s and was underbidder on a fourth.

He paid $164,700, almost double the lower estimate, for John Perceval’s Harbour Trust, Williamstown, showing the frenetic activity at Melbourne’s oldest port, which came fresh to the market from a private Melbourne collection.

Silver paid $73,200, almost three times the lower estimate for Perceval’s Neil Douglas’ Garden, 1958, which hailed from a private collection in Britain. Amid a profusion of flowers and undergrowth, a playful Perceval touch: a childlike face peers from the foliage on the left of the picture. The veteran dealer also bought William Dobell’s Angoram on the Sepik River, dating from the artist’s infatuation with Papua New Guinea’s lush western highlands, which cost $70,760.

Other “insiders” buying at Sotheby’s included art consultant David Hulme, who is one of those vocal about the improving market, and Roger McIlroy, a former head of Christie’s in Australia who now wields the gavel at Deutscher and Hackett.

Not spotted among the trade buyers at this sale was former dealer Denis Savill, who is tidying up decades of paperwork after closing his Paddington gallery.

Reference: http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/arts-and-entertainment/art/australian-art-market-gets-fired-up-as-auction-records-fall-20170510-gw1c11

The following blog post Australian art market gets fired up as auction records fall was originally seen on: http://bhfineart.com

Local art market surges ahead at breakneck pace

writes Michaela Boland in “The Australian” on 4 May 2017.

The Australian art market ­continued its stellar run last night when Sotheby’s Australia auctioned 108 artworks for $14.3 million, the company’s best result since the market peaked a year before the global financial crisis hit.

Four artist records were set but the highlight of a night when only a couple of big artworks failed to find favour was the sale of a ­Eugene von Guerard landscape which had been owned by the same family for more than five generations. Breakneck Gorge, Hepburn Springs sold to a phone bidder for $1.952m, including Sotheby’s 22 per cent buyers’ premium off a $1m reserve. …

Other highlights were: Arthur Streeton’s little Cremorne landscape, measuring just 22cm by 71cm and listed with a reserve of about $180,000 which sold after furious bidding for $549,000; and a playful Elioth Gruner painting of finely dressed figures amid boats, Fisherman, Coogee Beach, acquired by dealer David Hulme on behalf of a client for $164,700, more than double its reserve.






Local art market surges ahead at breakneck pace is available on: http://www.bhfineart.com

Dave’s Faves for the Menzies Art Auction on 11 May 2017

Where do you find museum quality art? And does it need to be “museum quality”?

The simple answer is, it doesn’t. Most art bought through commercial galleries is simply decorative and will never be worth any more than its decorative value, which often equates to perhaps 20% of its retail price.

Museum quality art in Australia can be purchased for $5,000 (or $500,000), if bought in the right place. Guiding collectors through this minefield is what we do, and we are here to assist you if and when an artwork catches your eye. In this way, we can help you avoid costly mistakes.

Below is the latest selection of museum quality Dave’s Faves to enjoy from Menzies.

You can personally view all 136 lots in Sydney from 4 to 10 May, at 12 Todman Avenue, and online in the Menzies website.

The Menzies fine art auction will be held also at 12 Todman Avenue, on Thursday, 11 May 2017, starting at 6.30 pm.

001 Russell
Lot 1 – John Peter Russell, Ligurian Hills in Snow 1913, est. $5,000-8,000. Leaves a lasting impression
005 Gruner
Lot 5 – Elioth Gruner, A Summer’s Day, $20,000-30,000. Plein Air Passion
006 Heysen
Lot 6 – Hans Heysen, Rural Landscape with Gums and Grazing Sheep, 1938, est. $10,000-15,000. The Sheep’s Back
010 Onus
Lot 10 – Lin Onus, Fish in Stream, est. $12,000-16,000. Minimal Lin
018 Blackman
Lot 18 – Charles Blackman, Bundeena 1985, est. $4,000-6,000. Bundeena beach – what a peach
024 Preston
Lot 24 – Margaret Preston, The Green Curtain, c 1918, est. $55,000-70,000. Margaret’s Modernist Magic
026 Blackman
Lot 26 – Charles Blackman, Sweet Shop 1954, est. $80,000-100,000. I also like Aeroplane Jelly
031 Oliver
Lot 31 – Bronwyn Oliver, Acorn 2005, est. $70,000-90,000. No little Acorn
044 Streeton
Lot 44 – Arthur Streeton, South Head, Sydney, 1913-14, est. $200,000-260,000. Streets Ahead
050 Brack
Lot 50 – John Brack, Nude in Profile, 1974, est. $320,000-380,000. Brack bares all
060 Amor
Lot 60 – Rick Amor, Remnant Pier with a Stormy Sky 2005, est. $65,000-85,000. A Pier without Peer
064 Nolan
Lot 64 – Sidney Nolan, Kate Kelly pursued by Constable Fitzpatrick, c1945, est. $150,000-180,000. I’m sold on Forties Nolans
079 Larwill
Lot 79 – David Larwill, The Pose 2007, est. $4,000-5,000. No, not that “Blue Boy”
108 Jackson
Lot 108 – James R. Jackson, Sydney Harbour from Neutral Bay, est. $5,000-7,000. Jackson’s Landing
112 Heysen
Lot 112 – Hans Heysen, Cotswolds, England 1934, est. $5,000-8,000. Luscious Light
135 Whiteley
Lot 135 – Brett Whiteley, Arc de Triomphe 1990, est. $4,000-6,000. Escaping Le Pen

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Dave’s Faves for the Menzies Art Auction on 11 May 2017 was first published to: Banziger Hulme Fine Art Pty Ltd

Dave’s Faves for the Deutscher + Hackett Art Auction 10 May 2017

In their autumn auction on 10 May in Sydney, Deutscher + Hackett offer their signature broad mix of 132 artworks – ranging from the rare early Australian colonial (August Earle lot 69), to international greats such as Edvard Munch (lot 114), taking in edgy contemporary works such as lot 23 by Paul McCarthy, and Aboriginal masters like Emily Kame Kngwarreye (lot 79).

The sale features also the third part of the Gene and Brian Sherman Capsule collection of modern and contemporary artists (lots 12 to 24). And among the last 30 or so lots, there are a good number of very reasonably priced works on paper by both international and Australian artists, with estimates under $2,000.

It will be rewarding viewing in Sydney from 4 to 9 May at the Deutscher + Hackett premises at 55 Oxford Street (corner Pelican Street), and online at the Deutscher + Hackett website.

The auction will take place on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, 7 pm, at the National Art School, Sydney, Forbes Street.

We would be delighted to assist you further if you are interested in a particular work in this sale. Contact us on 02 9977 7764 or email info@bhfineart.com

And Dave’s Faves are:

002 Smart
Lot 2 – Jeffrey Smart, Zinnias, 1940, estimate $25,000-35,000. I can’t beat “13 Zinnias for 13 Guinnias”, Jeffrey Smart
003 Beckett
Lot 3 – Clarice Beckett, Marigolds, c1929, est. $20,000-30,000. Clarice beckons
007 Whiteley
Lot 7 – Brett Whiteley, The Pink Dove I, 1983, est. $80,000-120,000. Give Peace a Chance
008 Williams
Lot 8 – Fred Williams, Acacias, You Yangs III, 1971, est. $30,000-40,000. Make a Splash with this Gouache
036 OBrien
Lot 36 – Justin O’Brien, Three Jugglers, 1955, est. $100,000-140,000. O’Brien’s Masterpiece
037 Boyd
Lot 37 – Arthur Boyd, Burnt Stubble Wimmera, c1975, est. $80,000-120,000. Raw Earth
038 Boyd
Lot 38 – Arthur Boyd, The Struggle, 1956, est. $80,000-120,000. Raw Religion
039 Williams
Lot 39 – Fred Williams, Acacia Landscape with Clouds, 1980, est. $260,000-320,000. Cloud 9
055 Coburn
Lot 55 – John Coburn, Song of India, 1974, est. $20,000-30,000. Thank you India
056 Coburn
Lot 56 – John Coburn, Untitled, 1958, est. $12,000-16,000. 1958 is great
058 Meadmore
Lot 58 – Clement Meadmore, Warm Valley, 1994, est. $20,000-30,000. Brilliant in bronze
079 Emily
Lot 79 – Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Untitled, 1992, estimate $8,000-12,000. Spot on
087 ST Gill
Lot 87 – S.T. Gill, Off to the Diggings, est. $8,000-12,000. Gold Fever
107 Blackman
Lot 107 – Charles Blackman, Suite, 1960, estimate $10,000-15,000. Sweet Suite
111 Nolan
Lot 111 – Sidney Nolan, Kelly, 1954, est. $10,000-15,000. Seeing through the Mask
114 Munch
Lot 114 – Edward Munch, Model Warming her Hands, 1896, est. $8,000-12,000. “If it gets any colder, I’ll scream.”
121 Booth
Lot 121 – Peter Booth, Night Landscape 2, 1987, estimate $1,800-2,200. Trump’s Brain
127 Williams
Lot 127 – Fred Williams, Knoll in the You Yangs, 1963-64, est. $4,000-6,000. Big print, small price
131 OBrien
Lot 131 – Justin O’Brien, Madonna and Child against Landscape, 1974, estimate $3,000-5,000. Pencilled Precision

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Dave’s Faves for the Deutscher + Hackett Art Auction 10 May 2017 is available on: Banziger Hulme Fine Art Valuations