Auction Record for Sydney Painting

Webbs Auctions, Auckland, NZPA 31 July 2014.

Another highlight of the sale was Grahame Sydney’s masterpiece, Sunset Near Omarama (1994), which catapulted to a final price $170,000: the highest price ever achieved [via auction] for the artist’s practice under the hammer.

Read the full press release:Webb’s Leads the New Zealand Art Market
THU 31 JUL 2014 – 6:30PM

With a sale total in excess of $1.6 million, our winter flagship event presented the market with the finest contemporary and modern New Zealand art practice available to market and elicited a particularly strong response for high value paintings by celebrated New Zealand modernists. This sale total was the highest acheived by any New Zealand auction house during the mid-year auction season (held across July and August).

Following the staggering sale price of $412,000 achieved for Colin McCahon’s Kauri Trees, Titirangi (1955-57) in our March sale, last week’s auction saw the artist’s practice continue to captivate the market’s attention.  In all, four high-value transactions were conducted for works by McCahon in this sale. The highest price was achieved by McCahon’s North Otago 7 (1967), which clocked in at $281,400. The North Otago paintings of the mid-60s are one of McCahon’s most important bodies of work so the formidable price achieved for this painting galvanises the high regard for the series.

The sale also saw strong the competition for works by McCahon from the 1970s, which was one of the most rich and productive periods of the artist career. Rosegarden VI (1974) attracted ferocious, competitive bidding and, as a result, exceeded its low estimate by 59% ($55,700) to achieve the eventual sale price of $149,500. Further, a charcoal drawing, Light Falling through a Landscape, from the artist’s seminal Necessary Protection series achieved $44,560 and an important painting from the artist’s Jump series was successfully sold post-sale for a significant sum.

Another highlight of the sale was Grahame Sydney’s masterpiece, Sunset Near Omarama (1994), which catapulted to a final price $170,000: the highest price ever achieved for the artist’s practice under the hammer [in the public arena]. Also of note was the sale of Tony Fomison’s, #226 (1978), from the collection of Pat Hanly, which surpassed its low estimate by 84% ($24,600) to achieve $53,900.

Entries for our next sale of Important paintings & Contemporary Art, to be held in late November 2014, are now invited. The sale’s early consignments include major works by Milan Mrkusich, Richard Killeen, Rita Angus and Tony Fomison. We encourage you to make contact with our Fine Art Specialists for a no obligation appraisal.