Contemporary Collecting – Our Picks from Centum


Ahead of our Centum Contemporary Art auction on Monday evening, we have selected our personal favourites from the collection.


GRETCHEN ALBRECHT (New Zealander, born 1943) Hydra (Star Cluster) 2000, acrylic on canvas, diptych, 200 x 400cm (overall). Estimate $40,000 – $50,000. Courtesy The Artist

Lot 13: Gretchen Albrecht, Hydra (Star Cluster) 2000
This monumental monochromatic painting exemplifies Albrecht’s ability to create immersive, otherworldly abstract “landscapes” that captivate the imagination. Hydra (Star Cluster) is a mesmerising composition of dynamic forms, reminiscent of a cosmic explosion. Albrecht’s works are immersive experiences that invite viewers to engage with the elemental forces of the natural world. Through her painting Albrecht transports viewers to a realm of ethereal beauty and wonder, inviting them to contemplate the mysteries of the universe.


TOM POLO (born 1985) Selective Memory 2016, acrylic on canvas, 62 x 52cm. Estimate $3,000 – $5,000. © Tom Polo/Copyright Agency 2024

Lot 1: Tom Polo, Selective Memory 2016
Tom Polo’s style is instantly identifiable, featuring abstract portraiture filled with emotion and bubble-like prose in bold, striking colours that can be simultaneously emotive and ironic. He focuses on people and the dynamics of human relationships that emerge from our interactions in both public and private spaces. Although portraiture comprises a significant portion of his work, his paintings are not based on real life. Instead, they are shaped by his experiences and encounters, capturing the sentiments or gestures embodied by others.


GORDON BENNETT (1955-2014) Psychotopographical Landscape (Cage) 1991, oil on canvas, 100 x 100cm. Estimate $15,000 – $20,000. © The Estate of Gordon Bennett managed by John Citizen Arts Pty Ltd

Lot 38: Gordon Bennett, Psychotopographical Landscape (Cage) 1991
Gordon Bennett was a leading figure in Australian art, and was passionately engaged in critical discourse, exploring how language, and thought shape identity. He defied racial stereotypes and resisted being solely labelled as an Indigenous artist, notably through his alter ego, John Citizen. Renowned globally, his work challenges postcolonial narratives and confronts racial stereotypes, contributing significantly to contemporary artistic dialogue, especially within the Australian context.


NEIL FRAZER (New Zealander, born 1961) Break Point 2016, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 152 x 152cm. Estimate $12,000 – $18,000. Neil Frazer is represented by Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney and Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane.

Lot 7: Neil Frazer, Break Point 2016
Break Point exudes a tangible energy that not only showcases Neil Frazer’s unique technique but also encapsulates the journey behind the piece. Frazer is particularly drawn to rugged terrains—such as stark cliffs, tumultuous seas, and expansive deserts, in which he wholeheartedly immerses himself within these landscapes to cultivate transformative bodies of work.


ALESANDRO LJUBICIC (born 1986) Homage to Klein, Table 2016, oil with Brilliant Green pigments, polished stainless steel, acrylic vitrine and glass, 37 x 100 x 120cm. Estimate $12,000 – $16,000. Courtesy The Artist

Lot 28: Alesandro Ljubicic, Homage to Klein, Table 2016
The potency of Homage to Klein is one to be seen. Alesandro Ljubicic has crafted a horizontal painting housed within a vitrine table. Renowned for his prowess as both a colourist and a texturalist, Ljubicic now embarks on seeking his own distinctive hues, and pure pigments that vividly capture the essence of the world depicted in his acclaimed works.


CAROLINE ZILINSKY (born 1978) The Haunting of Timothy Shaw 2020, oil on linen, 97 x 97cm. Estimate $8,000 – $10,000. Courtesy The Artist

Lot 15: Caroline Zilinsky, The Haunting of Timothy Shaw 2020
In Zilinsky’s art, there is an element of caricature that adds a playful twist to her depictions of human figures. Her characters are not conventionally pretty; instead, they exude raw authenticity. Through her bold portrayal of imperfections and idiosyncrasies, Zilinsky offers a poignant commentary on societal norms and expectations.

By Hannah Ryan, Prints & Multiples Specialist

Top Image (detail): CAROLINE ZILINSKY (born 1978) The Haunting of Timothy Shaw 2020 oil on linen, 97 x 97cm. Estimate $8,000 – $10,000. Courtesy The Artist

May 2024