Fine Art Auction @ Menzies Art Brands

Menzies - Brack - Double Nude IFriday, 10 October 2010

Fine Art Auction @ Menzies Art Brands

Menzies are bucking the trend again by staging their auction at least a fortnight after their competitors, a week before Christmas, and in Melbourne. It is a tighter than usual selection of only 129 lots, which nevertheless does contain quite a few choice pieces.

There is a striking Little Orange (Sunset) by Brett Whiteley ($750,000-850,000); a large scale John Brack Double Nude I from the 1980s ($1,500,000-2,000,000); a confident though not especially overwhelming William Robinson of Tweed Valley Rainforest ($200,000-240,000); a sparkling little Hillside by Streeton from c.1915 ($55,000-75,000); exuberantly energetic golden-yellow Chinese Restaurant watercolour by John Olsen ($40,000-50,000); and a sharp and delicate little still life by Adrian Feint ($1,500-2,500).

Menzies - Olsen - Chinese RestaurantFor someone with an eye for more contemporary things, there is a most striking deep turquoise Aida Tomescu’s Albastru IV ($20,000-28,000); a delicate and poetical Thornton Walker ($5,000-6,000); and a superbly-executed large scale Tim Maguire ($70,000-$80,000). One Afternoon in Yokohama by Lin Onus is also a good, well-executed work, though the bright orange of maple (?) leaves is rather distracting and throws the entire painting off its otherwise delicately balanced palette ($90,000-120,000).

True, a number of works have been up on the auction block before at least two or three times within the last decade. Hopefully this time round they might find a better home that would keep them for more then two or three years before chucking them back onto the art market.

Menzies - Aida TomescuIf I were fated to walk away with three works from this auction, regardless of their value, I would definitely pick the joyously energetic John Olsen watercolour; the Aida Tomescu painting, which is easily among the better works by the artist (but then I am partial to the colour scheme of this work); and perhaps the Brett Whiteley, once again for the joyous energy contained within. I must confess that I was drawn also to Max Dupain’s At Newport of 1952, perhaps one of the most iconic images by the artist, but its 1970s vintage rubs off a bit gloss from the picture, which is conservatively estimated at $3,500-5,500.


[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2010. This article is copyright, but the full or partial use is WELCOME with the full and proper acknowledgment]


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Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg

December 2010


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