With my third major exhibition of Important Australian Indigenous Art due to open at the end of the month, and my team putting the finishing touches on what’s shaping up to be a very exciting catalogue, I wanted to share a few of the highlights with you.
Now titled Significant, my annual catalogue is a selection of the most exceptional works of art available on the market, exhibited in June each year at William Mora Galleries.
This year’s offering is fresh and exciting, with all works hand-picked for their inherent quality - take for example the early board by Johnny Warangula pictured right. This painting has not been seen since it was purchased at Sotheby’s in 2000. An incredible find.
And by starting the catalogue with a small selection of contemporary Papunya gems – it becomes clear that it’s not always the size that makes a great work of art.
Whilst curating this exhibition, we have intentionally selected a number of nineteenth century works from a major private collection which show direct lineage to related contemporary pictures and sculpture. Placement by region is generally buoyed by a continuation of aesthetic line passed down through generations.
As I wrote in my most recent blog, I see this as being critically important in telling the whole story. If we can’t look at our past – how are we going to learn for our future.
Each artefact has been selectively chosen to reflect its age and aesthetic expressed by their inherent maker. You will now see, in alignment with Australian Institutions, rather than describe these works as objects – they become works of art in their own right, though with the artist unfortunately unknown.
Of particular note, is the Superb Transitional Boomerang by Artist Unknown. With animated carved designs and interplay between aged tradition and post-contact transition, these incredibly creative objects are now becoming highly sort-after by the most astute collectors and institutions.
Within the superb group of early bark paintings is Untitled by Artist Unknown, which is a highly important early work from Milingimbi. It likely dates to the late 1950s to 1960, and shows evidence of being by the hand of one of the early master bark painters from the region.
We are also privileged to have a fine selection of works by some of our most sought after urban practitioners. Of particular note is Ignoratia from 'Kalar Midday' series, 2004 by the highly acclaimed artist Brook Andrew. We have major works by Danie Mellor and Trevor Nickolls which make up a body of highly politically charged works. It is this strong narrative which gives this work so much potential.
My annual exhibitions and private sales allow me to better establish and re-establish artist's markets than I ever could working in the auction world.
Take for example the work of Tommy Mitchell. After setting a record secondary market price in my 2017 Annual catalogue, I am pleased to report a continuation in secondary market sales for the artist – with prices gaining momentum from previous marks set.
I am particularly enthusiastic about this work’s potential and am pleased to have two excellent examples by the artist within this forthcoming catalogue and sale – considering how tightly held the work is.
And you will see a few new names pop up within the catalogue. I see these artists as having strong potential. This catalogue and exhibition gives us all a better platform to help establish and nurture these emerging markets along.
Finally, of the many fine contemporary works of art on offer, Emily’s Untitled, 1990 is an exceptional example from this very early period - where the artist is considered to be at her height. Untitled, 1990 shows Emily with a sense of spontaneous vigor – the paint applied with areas of haste and precision, all along maintaining her strong intent.
The remainder of the Significant collection will be revealed in the finished catalogue which will be online by mid-May, and in mailboxes a short time later.
In the meantime we look forward to personally welcoming you at the preview opening on the 31st of May and viewings at William Mora Galleries in Richmond till the 16th of June.
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