AUCTION Aboriginal and Oceanic Works of Art
Tuesday 14th November 2017 6pm
Bent Street Foyer, Chifley Tower, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney, 2000
Have you registered yet?
In Person: Come along on this night and we can register you on the spot. Note that the auction starts on the dot at 6pm so if you would like to register on the night then please get there early and bring a form of identification.
Online: You can register to bid online at www.fineartbourse.com
The steps to do so are:
1. Create an account
2. Click on the link in your email to active the account
3. Log in
4. Register to Bid on this sale
5. Accept your paddle number
6. Log in at 6pm Tuesday and watch and listen to the auction live - Good Luck!
Alternativley, we can do it
Telephone Bidding: You have two options here - Use the steps above to Register to Bid on this sale, find the works you are interested in and request a call back 2 lots prior or you can do it the old fashioned way and give us a call no later than 4pm on Tuesday so that we can organise it for you. +61 (0) 490 844 449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Absentee Bidding: Just like Telepone Bidding, you have two options - Use the steps above to Register to Bid on this sale, find the works you are interested in and Register to Absentee Bid on each lot or you can do it the old fashioned way and give us a call and we can organise it for you. +61 (0) 490 844 449 or email email@example.com Note: The reserve on all works other than the charity lots, is generally 10% below the low estimate.
Happy bidding everyone!
Adrian Newstead's thoughts on a few featured lots
EMILY KAME KNGWARREYE
Sacred Grasses - 1994
synthetic polymer paint on Beligan Linen 91.5 x 122.0 cm EST. $10,000 - $15,000
Delmore Gallery Cat # 941049, Barry Stern Gallery, Paddington, Sydney Private Collection, NSW
This painting reveals a speed and energy that belies the artists advanced age.
Sensed is the action of grasses being winnowed by the wind to release the seeds that are ground to make seed cakes for ceremonies and everyday sustenance. Scribbly in character, the tangled massing of lines is scrawled over the surface, sometimes almost translucent and at other times thick and textural. These multicoloured marks evoke the spiky angularity of grasses that contrasts with the meandering tendrils seen in the yam series that preceded them. The immediacy of this work, painted in the last year of her life, reveals an artist completely at ease with her materials, and a command of mark-making after having created over 3000 works in only eight years.
Don’t skip past this unusual work, It’s definitely worth a second look. Carrying Delmore provenance it is full of energy and shows Emily’s unselfconscious gestural approach, which creates an unusual depth of field. Worth twice the extremely conservative pre-sale estimate.
Untitled - 2007
Natural Earth Pigments on Belgian Linen 95.0 x 180.0 cm EST. $12,000 - $15,000
Jirrawun Arts, Wyndham Cat.No. FT 11 2007 275 Private Collection, Melbourne Deutscher and Hackett, Important Aboriginal & Oceanic Art, Melbourne, 27/03/2013, Lot No. 46 Private Collection, QLD
In a career that spanned more than 20 years, Freddy Timms became known for aerial map-like visions of country that were less concerned with ancestral associations than with tracing the responses and refuges of the Gija people as they encountered the ruthlessness and brutality of colonisation. However, his political nature is characterised by more intimate interpretations of the experience rather than overtly political statements. Freddie Timms was foremost amongst the Gija artists of the second generation. His, was a unique Gija perspective on the history of white interaction with his people. It is hard to think of another who expressed more poignantly through their art the sense of longing and the abiding loss that comes from the separation from the land that embodies one’s spiritual home.
The glorious soft ochre palette and fine execution of this work is Freddie Timms at his very best. Freddie was the founder of Jirrawun Arts and during its early years some of the finest Kimberley works of the period were created. This piece definitely rates amongst them. By the time Timms passed away early this year he had become the preeminent East Kimberley artist of his generation. I love it.
All the Jila - 2006
Synthetic Polymer Paint on Belgian Linen 167.0 x 122.0 cm EST. $18,000 - $25,000
Short Street Gallery, WA The Jacquie McPhee Collection, WA
The Greatest Passion of All, Jacquie McPhee, 2017, p236
"The Jila (living water) is in the centre with jilji (sand dunes) all around.
Above is the pirnti (claypan) where we camped and below is a billabong nearby" Artist Statement
A lovely early work by one of the hottest contemporary Aboriginal artists of the moment. Since he first began painting the enthusiasm for the work of this young man has continued unabated with a waiting list up to 50 collectors hoping for his next work. This painting is beautifully illustrated in the Jacquie McPhee Collection book and carries a very low presale estimate…..a bargain at anything under $35,000.
Awelye Atnwengerrp - 2004
synthetic polymer on Belgian linen 153.0 x 182.0 cm EST. $25,000 - $35,000
Dacou Gallery, NT Fireworks Gallery, QLD, Cat No# FW7691 Private Collection, QLD
The bold linear patterns of stripes and curves throughout Minnie’s painting depicts the women's ceremonial body paint design as well as a map of her country. Ceremonial songs relate to the Dreamtime stories of Ancestral Travel and and the creative force of plants, animals and natural elements. Awelye-Women’s ceremony demonstrates respect for the land and ensures abundance, increase, well-being and happiness within the artist's clan and wider community.
This work rates amongst my favourite pieces by Minnie in her minimal style. It has a strong contemporary aesthetic and would be a stand out in any minimal stylish interior. It's grand scale makes it very good buying at its mid estimate. The low buyer’s premium in this sale (5%) should ensure the buyer gets a unique signature piece at an excellent price.
BILL WHISKEY TJAPALTJARRI
Rockholes near Olgas - 2008
synthetic polymer on Belgian linen 180.0 x 180.0 cm EST. $45,000 - $55,000
Watiyawanu Artists, Mt Liebig
Peta Appelyard Fine Art, Alice Springs
Private Collection NT
While Rock Holes and Country Near The Olgas is a compelling work depicting his country, it is intentionally cryptic. Specific information about the Dreaming is purposefully suffused in fields of ambiguous dots. Water places, such as Pirupa Akla are marked by sets of concentric circles, their dazzling presence representing their powerful life-giving significance, rather than their actual size. The actions of the White Cockatoo and Crow ancestors are encrypted as dotted patches that reference topographic features associated with the Dreaming. The minimal depiction in this particular work conveys the attenuated distance between landmarks in Whiskey's country, where isolated water places are concealed among swathes of vegetation. Remaining true to the conduct of his ancestors, who had kept their distance from explorers, Whiskey protects the secrets of his country behind the mirage of heat.
Large works by Whiskey are relatively rare and highly sought after. I love the hazy minimal quality of this piece. The over-dotting and restraint in its execution give this work an ethereal mysterious feel. This is in keeping with the artist’s restraint in revealing intimate details of its ‘inner’ meaning due to his stature amongst men of high degree. Priced right for a rare work of this quality.
EMILY KAME KNGWARREYE
Wild Flowers - 1995
Synthetic Polymer Paint on Belgian Linen 180.0 x 283.0 cm EST. $90,000 - $130,000
Dacou Gallery, SA Commissioned by Galleries Australis, SA Cat No. GAEK 95 1004 Private Collection, Switzerland
The density and richness of colour in this work represents an abundance of wild flowers after winter rain. The painting is an aerial perspective as Emily perceived her country in the spring of 1995. From late 1991 onwards Emily explored a range of techniques having largely abandoned the fine dotting and submerged linear tracing which characterised her earlier works. She began using larger brushes to create broader circular dabs of paint which often involved 'double dipping' the brush in a second colour before applying the paint to the canvas. This technique enabled her to work vigorously while making delicate flower-like impressions as are seen in this magnificent work of the period.
This very large work is a fine example of Emily’s works after the abundant rains in her country during 1995. Variegated dots of brilliant colour underlie a field of white floral impressions that meander across the surface. For a work on this scale by Aboriginal Australia’s most successful and important contemporary artist this represents a significant opportunity. Its low estimate is half its real value.
CLIFFORD POSSUM TJAPALTJARRI
Mount Wedge - 1985
synthetic polymer on Belgian linen 100.0 x 180.0 cm EST. $90,000 - $120,000
Papunya Tula Artists: Cat. No. CP850356. Private Collection, ACT. Lawson~Menzies , Aboriginal Fine Art, Sydney, 23/05/2007 Private Collection Qld
Sold with original art centre documentation.
In this visually arresting image, he has depicted clan designs associated with Ulpulku, a site to the west of Mount Wedge. This is a rock wallaby site as seen by the tracks passing through the centre of the work. The roundels with U shapes on either side are campsites where ‘kungas’, young women, are seated. The necklets they wore during ceremonies are shown.
This work must have been one of the last pieces Clifford Possum painted for Papunya Tula. He had all but become an independent artist by 1983. The formal composition of his paintings set his work distinctly apart him from that of his contemporaries. By the time he created this work he had become the preeminent artist amongst Central and Western desert painters. This rare and important work demonstrates Clifford Possum’s remarkable and decisively different vision in the representation of his Dreamings. Blue Chip.
JIMMY KURTNU PIKE
Kalpurtu Makari - 1998
Synthetic Polymer Paint on Canvas 121.0 x 91.0 cm EST. $6,000 - $8,000
Japingka Gallery, WA
Private Collection WA
Japingka is the main Jila (living water) on Jimmy Pike’s father's and grandfather's country. Kalpurtu are magic spirits that bring rain and lightning. Kalpurtu live in the waterhole. When they smell strangers coming, they stand up and reveal themselves. Here a small Kalpurtu called Makari is depicted with long hair and a beard.
Jimmy Pike was a groundbreaking artist whose paintings and prints inspired Desert Designs, a company that franchised Pike’s designs to some of the world’s most prestigious companies including Sheraton, Hermes, and Oraton amongst others. This created the income that enabled Jimmy Pike to live a free and independent life as an artist in his own country. The presale estimate on this work is around 25% below the prices in his recent posthumous show organised by his wife Pat Lowe in London at Rebecca Hossack Gallery. I highly recommend this distinctive work.
PATRICK MUNG MUNG
Purnulula - 2007
Natural Earth Pigments on Canvas 150.0 x 180.0 cm EST. $12,000 - $15,000
Warmun Art Centre, WA Private Collection, NSW
Purnululu (the Bungle Bungle ranges in the East Kimberley) was Patrick’s grandfather’s and great grandfather's country. The son of senior Gija leader George Mung Mung a renowned teacher and community leader, Patrick grew up at Texas Downs Station and was amongst the last to leave when the stockman life ended in the 1970s.
Patrick’s distinctive style is noted for multiple perspectives, dynamic energy both in and of the landscape, and a delightful soft earthy palette. This is an immaculate splendidly realised major work. Art the time it was created the artist had become the most respected of the male artists working in the East Kimberley. Good buying at the low estimate given the very low 5% buyers premium.
ROVER (JULAMA) THOMAS
Spiders Web in Yari Country - 1994
Oilstick on paper 142.5 x 103.5 cm EST. $6,000 - $8,000
Commissioned by Kimberley Art, Melbourne. Cat. No. KA00284 Private collection, Sydney. Christies, Modern Aboriginal Art, Sydney, 12/10/2004, Lot No. 85 Private Collection, VIC
Accompanied by the original certificate and a photo of Rover Thomas holding the artwork
Rover has depicted an important Dreaming, which took place near a sacred Wati-Kujarra, Two Men Dreaming Site, deep in the Great Sandy Desert.
A very rare work on paper by Rover. Only 8 have appeared at auction and this work is superior to the best of them, which sold for $15,600 as long ago as 2005. A steal at anything under the high estimate. Highly recommended.
MABEL WIRINGGOON JULIE
Karnkiny Ngarrangkarni - 2006
Natural Earth Pigments on Belgian Linen 230.0 x 152.0 cm EST. $8,000 - $12,000
Warmun Art Centre, Kununurra, Western Australia Mossgreen Auctions, The Ross & Rona Clarke Collection, Brisbane, 09/09/2012, Lot No. 72 Private Collection, QLD
This work appears to be a cosmic representation but it is, in fact, Mabel's country at Darrajayin (Springvale Station).
This major work by Mabel carries excellent provenance and is simply gorgeous in the flesh. The white iconography stands out upon an unusual dark chocolate field. It has held the record price since last sold 5 years ago. Very good buying at the mid-estimate.
REGISTER TO BID
ROVER (JULAMA) THOMAS
‘Bubba’ Dog Dreaming - 1996
Natural Earth Pigments on Belgian Linen 104.0 x 98.0 cm EST. $25,000 - $35,000
Warmun Traditional Artists Cat No. RT 0056 Adam Knight Fine Art, Melbourne Private Collection NSW
In 1995 the artist revisited his birthplace and the Wild Dog dreaming sites for the first time in 40 years and created a series of works based on the trip. In this work, a series of rock holes formed by Mother Wild Dog and her “Puppy Dogs” in the Dreamtime is shown.
This is a lovely late-career work by Rover. It is in pristine condition and represents very good buying at the low estimate.
JACK DALE MENGENEN
Gulwarmedan - 2008
Natural Earth Pigments on Canvas 282.0 x 214.0 cm EST. $35,000 - $45,000
Neil Mcleod Fine Art, VIC Private Collection, VIC accompanied by numerous photos of the artist painting the artwork.
‘This is our most important painting. The top right-hand side is a place we call Gulwarmedan, which means ‘where they chucked the bodies in’. Another name we call it is ‘Trick Hill’. The bodies are still there now, but it is too hard to walk in. I camped at this place with my wife Dolly long time ago, and saw the bodies in a little gorge. The gudi (white men) were doing a lot of shooting in them days. When I was little kid, my grandfather took me to show me. We got native title now. Its what we call back-to-back.’
Jack Dale Mengenen, Derby, 2008
Jack Dale embodied the living history of the Kimberley region. His life spanned from the turbulent and often bloody years of early white settlement through to a life working cattle and traveling the north west as he accumulated knowledge and the ancient stories of the land and its creation spirits. Jack’s more abstract works focused on the dramatic Kimberley country with its harsh stony areas, steeply rising ranges and deep gorges created by fast-flowing, wet season rivers. In map-like paintings that trace the contours of the desert landscape, broad areas of strong colour create a feeling of tangible substance within his mythic vision of the land. This particular work was, according to the artist, his most important work. Its presale estimate has been set to reflect the results achieved for his 10 highest recorded prices.