The Weekend Australian - Review - - Visual Arts - Bron­wyn Wat­son

The Aus­tralian nov­el­ist and Booker Prize-win­ning au­thor, Thomas Ke­neally, for many years has been a keen art col­lec­tor. At Holdsworth Gal­leries in Syd­ney, for in­stance, he bought an oil paint­ing, David Boyd’s Chil­dren Play­ing in the Gar­den, that re­minded Ke­neally of his two daugh­ters. He says he bought the paint­ing be­cause it “so typ­i­fied” his daugh­ters – “the mag­nif­i­cent, fly­ing, ac­ro­batic child surg­ing out of a tree and the watcher in the grass. They are both so beau­ti­fully ren­dered, the one in the grass with author­ity and en­vi­able econ­omy. It has been a joy of our house­hold long since.” That paint­ing by Boyd was one of four works from Ke­neally’s col­lec­tion at a re­cent col­lec­tor’s auc­tion by Leonard Joel. Chil­dren Play­ing in the Gar­den had a pre-sale es­ti­mate of $6000 to $8000 and fetched $13,640 (in­clud­ing buyer’s premium). An­other high­light of the night was a char­coal draw­ing by Amer­i­can artist Lee Kras­ner, which had been put up for sale by a Syd­ney-based pri­vate col­lec­tor. Kras­ner was mar­ried to Jack­son Pol­lock, but she was a tal­ented artist in her own right (take a look, for ex­am­ple, at her 1965 paint­ing, Com­bat, in the Na­tional Gallery of Vic­to­ria col­lec­tion). Kras­ner’s char­coal draw­ing, Nude Study from Life, 1938, fetched $52,080.

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