May Fine Art Auction Highlights

Theodore Bruce is offering an impressive collection of Modern Australian & Contemporary Chinese Art this May. Among the highlights are works by celebrated Australian artists – including Garry Shead & Jeffrey Smart – and artists from China’s dynamic contemporary art scene.

Fine Art | Australian & International | Monday 15 May | 6pm

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Garry Shead, Australia (b.1942), Aboriginal 1992, The D H Lawrence Series, Oil on board

Garry Shead, The Aboriginal 1992

Award-winning Australian artist Garry Shead – the recipient of the 1993 Archibald Prize and 2004 Dobell Prize for drawing – is a painter & filmmaker with a highly distinctive lyrical & narrative style.

Drawing inspiration from literary giants including Dante and momentous literary events – the Ern Malley affair – Shead’s figurative paintings are celebrated globally.

One of his most notable series was crafted in response to English author, David Herbert Richards (“D.H” Lawrence) – and his novel “Kangaroo”. Lawrence had penned the book whilst living in the coastal NSW town of Thirroul in 1922. Shead was living close by when he began his series, which interweaves Lawrence’s tale with Shead’s biographical story.

A highlight of the auction is Shead’s, The Aboriginal 1992, from The D H Lawrence Series, Oil on board. The painting featured in The Garry Shead Paintings by Sasha Grishin, published 1993.

The Blue Boat 1949-1950, Ink, gouache & watercolour on paper

Jeffrey Smart, The Blue Boat 1949-50

Celebrated Australian artist Jeffrey Smart is best remembered for his intriguing & atmospheric urban landscapes. The works are notable for their geometric precision and sparsity of life, sometimes featuring just a sole figure in a vast city.

Whilst born in Adelaide, Smart spent a large part of his life in Italy, and his Italian paintings embrace diverse landscapes.

According to Stephen Rogers, Archivist to the Estate of Jeffrey Smart, this work – The Blue Boat 1949-1950, Ink, gouache & watercolour on paper – likely came about from Smart’s visit to the Island of Ischia, and it shows a view of the beachside village of Sant’ Angelo.

The work was twice exhibited in Melbourne in 1953 and in Sydney in 1955 & it features in the Jeffrey Smart monograph by P Quatermaine, published 1983.

Shen Jing Dong, China (b.1965), Reading (AKA Bookworm) 2009

Shen Jingdong,  Reading (AKA Bookworm) 2009

Since the first Shanghai Biennale in 1996, contemporary Chinese artists have exploded onto the international art scene, led by major figures including Cai Guo-Qiang and Ai Weiwei.

Among them is Beijing artist Shen Jingdong, whose striking artworks often feature Chinese iconography & themes of globalisation in “cute” figures, frequently in vibrant shades of red, blue, green & yellow.

Born in Nanjing, Jingdong studied art before being conscripted into the Chinese military. He spent 16 years in the army prior to becoming a professional artist, and achieving widespread acclaim with his 2008 ‘Hero’ series.

Since 2007, Jingdong has exhibited in regularly in Hong Kong and New York, and his work is held in private and public collections worldwide. Shengjing’s work, Reading (AKA Bookworm) 2009, is on offer in our May fine art auction with a copy of the Fragmentary Memories Catalogue, featuring images of his works from 2005-2008, signed by the artist.

Liu Chun Hai, China (b.1966), Bright Sunny Days 2013, Oil on linen

Fine Art Auction Details

In addition to the highlights here, our May fine art auction features an exciting collection from Australian & International artists including David Boyd, John Brack, Liu Chun Hai, Robert Dickerson, Geoffrey Dyer, Shi Lifeng, the Luo Brothers, John Olsen, Edward Seago & Hou Qing.

Fine Art | Australian & International | Monday 15 May | 6pm

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Theodore Bruce Auctioneers offers regular fine art & Aboriginal art auctions, and comprehensive fine art valuations. To stay informed, please join our emailing list via the link below & keep an eye on our Upcoming Auctions page.

Pictured: Liu Chun Hai, China (b.1966), Bright Sunny Days 2013, Oil on linen