Sidney Nolan (1917-1992), Shot (Kelly), c.1991. Estimate: AU$ 60,000 – 80,000 (US$ 52,000 – 70,000)
AUSTRALIA — On Monday, 119 rare artworks by Sir Sidney Nolan, arguably Australia’s most important and internationally-renowned 20th century artist will be auctioned at Bonhams Australian branch next week. The pictures will be auctioned at historic Como House in Melbourne. Sourced directly from the estate of Sir Sidney Nolan, and consigned for sale by Lady Mary Nolan, the artist’s widow who lives in Herefordshire, the collection includes important artworks by the artists. Mainly from the latter part of Nolan’s life, the collection includes the last painting he ever painted titled Shot.
Shot (1991) is one of the artworks that is generating a lot of excitement in this art sale that is expected to attract international art collector. Completed the year before Nolan died, Shot depicts the bushranger Ned Kelly with red spray-painted bullet wounds and marks the dramatic finale to his Kelly series, arguably the most famous set of paintings in contemporary Australian art.
Celebrated in Australia, Nolan is one of the foremost Australia artists who have made their mark in the international art world, and this is one reason this art auction is generating a lot of attention among art collectors. Another is that many of the works to be presented at the art sale have not been viewed in public for many years. According to Mark Fraser, Bonhams Australia chairman, the collection include rare Kelly paintings from the 1950s, ’60s and ’90s as well as works from other major series such as his African paintings, Gallipoli soldiers, and Adelaide Women.
Fraser notes: “As well as some really fantastic, iconic images, Bonhams is offering many quirky, moderately priced works that show a side of Nolan that is little known.” For Fraser, “This is a unique opportunity to secure a painting by one of the giants of Australian art.”
When the art auction opens on Monday, it is expected that Bonhams Australia will bring greater value to the works of this great Australian artist who was a celebrity in the international art circle. While original works on paper are estimated from AUD$1500, Ned Kelly paintings are from AUD$5,000 and large oil paintings from AUD$8,000. However, it is expected that the artworks will fetch record auction prices.