By Richard Brewster, on 06-Sep-2023

Australian art icon Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) is another who rarely goes unsold and his brush and ink on torn reassembled paper entitled Self Portrait at 36, 1975 Verso: Seed Pods and the Tide Coming In (Lot 2 ) sold for $28,000.

Art collectors love Australian artist Ray Crooke (1922-2015), particularly his paintings of Pacific islanders and the entry in Deutscher and Hackett’s timed online Melbourne Modern, Contemporary and Indigenous Art auction on September 5 only confirmed his popularity.  His painting entitled Village Islanders (Lot 4 ) brought the top price when it went under the hammer for $42,000.


Although James Gleeson’s (1915-2008) Evidence of Uncertainties, 2005 (Lot 5 ) did not reach the catalogue estimate of $30,000-$40,000, it still brought a credible $20,000 on the night.

David Hockney’s colour lithograph of famous American novelist Christopher Isherwood and portrait artist Don Bachardy (Lot 3 ) completed in 1976 sold for $17,000, at the upper end of its $12,000-$18,000 estimate – while the two Adam Cullen paintings entitled The Space Between the Anus and the Steeple, 2005 (Lot 10 ) and Rodeo Hip Sport Rodeo (Lot 11 ) each fetched a respectable $16,000.

Other pleasing results were William Dobell’s (1899-1970) Nude, 1933 selling for $12,000 (Lot 6 ), Dick Watkins Untitled, 1990 (Lot 15 ) for $11,000 , Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori’s, (c1924-2015) Big Sandfish, 2005 and Otto Pareroultja’s (1914-1973) Central Australian Landscape (Lot 42 ) – each for $9,500.

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About The Author

Richard Brewster has been writing about the antiques and art auction industry for almost 25 years, first in a regular weekly column for Fairfax's The Age newspaper and also in more recent times for his own website Australian Auction Review. With over 50 years experience as a journalist and public relations consultant, in 1990 Richard established his own business Brewster & Associates in Melbourne, handling a wide range of clients in the building, financial, antiques and art auction industries.