Living in Melbourne, I have spent the majority of the last 18 months in lockdown in my apartment, reading about art, or at our Leonard Joel South Yarra premises looking at it. With the ability to travel off the cards, my mind was dependent on other sources to satiate my travel desires. Fortunately, there’s been no shortage of captivating artworks throughout the year to transport me to another place so here are my top 5 artworks that took me on a journey around the world:
Our March Fine Art auction featured an impeccable oil painting by Tim Wilson of the Manapouri mountains in the South Island of New Zealand. In the work, Tim captures the quiet grandeur of these monumental mountains. We can almost feel the crisp winter air and fog drifting past before the sun creeps in further through the clouds. How’s the serenity!
Now, time for some hustle and bustle:
The wonderful Swiss artist Lill Tschudi never fails to mesmerise me and her modernist linocut, Schiffe, from our Women Artists auction captures Venice on the move. The gondoliers are hard at work, preparing for their next load of passengers taking in the sights. I can hear the gondolas clinking together as they sit docked in succession preparing for the waves about to hit from the cargo ship roaring into the canal.
Perhaps let’s head for dry(ish) land:
Paris is one of the few cities in the world that becomes even more beautiful when it rains and Édouard Cortès knows how to masterfully bring this to the canvas. Flickers of golds, greens and purples adorn the work in reflection from the rainfall. The flower seller trudges along, hoping to sell the cart full before the rain ruins it all, but most of her potential customers seem to be flocking to the golden warm glow of the building streetside. A quick Cognac and we’ll be warm-bellied and ready to take on the weather.
Well, Europe, you’ve been great but it’s time to turn around and head towards home:
High on my travel list, Japan is a hotspot for great food, natural wonders, and of course art. How could we forget Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin which was washed into the ocean in strong winds on the island of Naoshima earlier this year? We’ll just have to wait for it to be restored and returned to the island, but in the meantime we were able to enjoy these two miniatures in our July Prints and Multiples auction. Luckily, these two won’t be making their way into the ocean anytime soon.
There’s no place like home:
Throughout this year we’ve had some exceptional pieces of Indigenous Australian art on offer. Many of these works capture aspects of the Australian landscape that I’m ashamed to say I’ve not yet seen with my own eyes. Patrick Oloodoodi Tjungurrayi comes from the Balgo region, an area of rich and vibrant colour which comes through in the dynamic and energetic art from the area. Lot 22 from our February Indigenous Art sale featured a work by Patrick that is still one of my favourite works to this day. It’s mix of piercing reds and oranges with sweet pinks and crisp whites intersecting together to create intricate patterns of the landscape that still have me desperate to visit the Balgo region.
OLIVIA FULLER / Head of Fine Art
Banner Image: TIM WILSON (New Zealander, 1954-2020) Manapouri 2004, oil on Belgian linen, 60 x 120.5cm. Sold for $23,750