Considered the first Modern Indonesian painter, Sudjojono was pivotal in the Indonesian nationalist movement. Shifting away from idealized colonial representations of his country, Sudjojono and other contemporaries pursued social realism. Landscapes, and in particular, the Kapok Tree, 1943 in bloom (Lot 511 ), held great significance for the artist. The depiction of flowers has both thematic and personal relevance: flowers symbolised notions of femininity, nature, regeneration, and the fragility of life. By the same token these ideas were associated with his wife and daughters, and we can only assume that the inscription to the reverse Moeder met kind (Mother with child) is telling of this. Works predating the 50s are scarce, either lost through natural deterioration or destroyed by Dutch military action in 1948.
Fred Williams complex and idiosyncratic painterly language redefined how the Australian landscape could be seen and interpreted through abstract representation. Images of the You Yangs of the 60s and 70s are considered classic interpretations of The Land and forms part of an important artistic lineage of Australian artists that define and redefined representations of the landscape. A prolific printmaker, Knoll in the You Yangs (Lot 504 ) is one variation of a series of intaglio prints by Williams of the same theme. Printed in 1964 and limited to a small print run, these etchings have remained highly sought after by collectors.
Avid follower or not, it is hard to overlook the visually striking works of Tommy Watson. Anumarapiti - My Grandfather's Country (Lot 515 ) is an ode to his ancestral history and his country, and a testament to Watson’s innate artistic sensibilities and dexterity.
Increasingly, Australian mid-century abstract art has gained the intrigue of collectors and prices have steadily increased. Willam Rose’s dynamic painting from 1959 (Lot 557 ) has peaked early interest. Its subtitle Waterviews from Victoria St. Potts Point obtained from its provenance: inherited by descent, the original owner was gifted paintings in lieu of rent while Rose lived in Potts Point, the work said to be inspired by the waterviews from Rose’s apartment.
Favoured among celebrities, Ross Watson is admired for his photorealism and has remained a cultural fixture in the LGBTQ community in Australia and Internationally for over 30 years. The male form is central to his work, often juxtaposing his figures in culturally recognizable scenes. Untitled #0003, 2000 (Lot 501 ) alludes to the story of Cain and Abel.
Up in the Sky #15, 1997 (Lot 556 ) by important photomedia artist Tracey Moffat, explores social historical themes through clever narrative. This significant series is held in the collection of Museum of Contemporary Art and The Art Gallery of NSW.