As one of Vietnam’s most revered artists of the 20th century, Le Pho exemplifies this fusion of Western and Eastern influences. Les Amaryllis (Lot 54 ) is from his Findlay period and reflects his inspiration from the Impressionist techniques of colour and light. Continuing on from their recent sale of a master work by Pho’s peer, Vu Cao Dam, Leonard Joel is continuing their expertise and success in the sale of modern works from South-East Asia.
Delving into the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe, artists including Luigi Scaffi (Lot 55 ), Moritz Stifter (Lot 56 ) and the great Gaetano Cherici (Lot 57 ) left a lasting mark in the genre painting style. These artists found their way into the collection of astute Australian businesmann, David Hains. The estate of David Hains now presents these treasures to the Australian market for the first time.
Turning to the 20th century, we encounter the revolutionary spirit of artists including Andy Warhol. His Flower series (Lot 15 ) from 1964 redefined the boundaries of Pop Art. Appropriating a photograph of a hibiscus flower, Warhol’s work challenged conventions becoming an enduring icon and household name. His influence echoed throughout the art world, reaching Howard Arkley who adopted a simliar approach to Pop Art while creating his own distinct visual language in Australia. Curvilinear with Grid from 1978 (Lot 16 ), showcases Akley’s ‘pattern-consciousness’ in a captivating fusion of textural and design elements.
Other key works include the First Study For Conversation Piece (Lot 9 ), an exploration of Jeffrey Smart’s ability to seamlessly bridge classical and contemporary elements. The bold use of primary colours, coupled with the timeless narrative and unique storytelling of the piece, made it a top selection in the auction. Three significant works by Sidney Nolan including Kate Kelly Pursued by Constable Fitzpatrick (Lot 49 ), Notes for Oedipus V 1975 (Lot 37 ) and Ned Kelly in Landscape (Lot 7 ), are some of the most important works not only from his own oeuvre, but also the broader discourse of Australian art history.
Leonard Joel’s auction will view in Melbourne from Friday 20-Sunday 22 October before their evening sale on 24 October.