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September New Collectors Art & Decorative Arts: Preliminary Highlights

By Art+Object on 3rd September 2015

Tuesday and Wednesday night's New Collectors Art & Decorative Arts auctions were among the stronger held in their respective categories in recent years.  Healthy crowds, strong prices and high sell-through rates were features of both nights.  A combined sale total across both genres was $822 713 and the top selling lot went to lot 622, the 19th century Kahu kiwi, Kingmaker's cloak which sailed above its estimate to realise $128 528.  Some of the preliminary highlights included:

New Collectors Art:
Lot 2. Michael Parekowhai $10 510
Lot 3. Michael Parekowhai $9128
Lot 28. Stephen Bambury $6005
Lot 38. Milan Mrkusich $6005
Lot 49. Fiona Pardington $4205
Lot 69. Nigel Brown $15 615
Lot 89. Neil Dawson $9610
Lot 90. Barbara Hepworth $4505
Lot 101. Victor Vasarely $6005
Lot 119. Peter McIntyre $6005
Lot 127. Robin White $7505
Lot 153. Ralph Hotere $7205
Lot 159. Colin McCahon $8710
Lot 160. Gordon Walters $7745
Lot 161. Garth Tapper $12 100
Lot 178. Marti Friedlander $3725
Lot 203. Stanley Palmer $6125
Lot 231. Trevor Moffitt $11 710
Lot 262. Ian Scott $11 110
Lot 266. Simon Kaan $7505
Lot 268. Trevor Moffitt $11 410

Decorative Arts:
Lot 322. A.W.A Radiolette $2700
Lot 621. Jacob Heberley Tokotoko $3725
Lot 622. The Kingmaker's cloak $128 528
Lot 645. A.R.D Fairburn $8405
Lot 646. A.R.D Fairburn $8405
Lot 662. Joe Colombo Chair $6605
Lot 663. H. W Klein chair $5045
Lot 692. Eames Chair $7565
Lot 793. Frank Carpay $3960
Lot 900. Len Castle $6605
Lot 901. Len Castle $4205
Lot 1015. Sevres Clock $4805
Lot 1036. Lapini Bust $4085

*All prices listed include buyer's premium and GST.  A full list of prices realised will be published online shortly.


By Art+Object on 12th August 2015

A+O publishes Content magazine on an annual basis to take the pulse of our arts scene and to celebrate the artists, collections and collectors who make a difference to the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The magazine is available on a complimentary basis and can be read online here or by collecting a copy at ART+OBJECT.

This edition is focused on some of the major gallery stories of 2015, the recent opening on the Govett-Brewster Gallery/Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth and the imminent opening of the Christchurch Art Gallery after nearly five years closed. Content contains exclusive interviews with the gallery directors who explain what the future holds for these two vital art institutions. Elsewhere Content uncovers a vital body of photographs by Robin Morrison, charts the journey of a celebrated Charles Goldie canvas, examines the role of the architect and theorist Maurice K. Smith and celebrates the contribution of Fiona Campbell and the Real Art Roadshow.

Important Paintings and Contemporary Art, August 6th: Preliminary Highlights

By Art+Object on 7th August 2015

Last night's mid-winter auction was a strong one with a good crowd, strong bidding and a healthy sell through rate all featuring.  The evening's top lot went to Colin McCahon's Cross I for $97 317 (illustrated) and total auction sales under the hammer were a fraction over $1 000 000, excluding subjects.  Some of the highlights included:

Lot 1. Michael Parekowhai $9670
Lot 3. Stephen Bambury $29 310
Lot 8. Peter Robinson $7915
Lot 14. Michael Parekowhai $41 035
Lot 18. Dale Frank $41 035
Lot 21. Peter Robinson $15 828
Lot 22. Bill Henson $27 550
Lot 29. Stephen Bambury $14 070
Lot 30. Gregor Kregar $10 250
Lot 49. Jae Hoon-Lee $11 135
Lot 53. C. F Goldie $50 415 * A new record price for a work on paper by the artist at auction.   
Lot 55. Colin McCahon $97 317
Lot 59. Michael Smither $22 275
Lot 62. Toss Woollaston $29 310
Lot 63. Peter Robinson $35 175
Lot 65. Robert Ellis $29 310
Lot 67. Geoff Thornley $17 585
Lot 71. Richard Killeen $37 520
Lot 73. Max Gimblett $41 620
Lot 75. Arnold Wilson $43 380 * A new record price for the artist at auction.
Lot 83. Gavin Hipkins $3045
Lot 93. Anne Noble $3810
Lot 94. Laurence Aberhart $7035
Lot 102. Allen Maddox $21 105
Lot 104. Gretchen Albrecht $19 930
Lot 109. Patricia France $12 310 * A new record price for the artist at auction. 
Lot 111. Ian Scott $19 930

*All prices listed include buyer's premium and GST.  A full list of prices realised will be published online shortly.


By Art+Object on 4th August 2015

For those unable to be present in the auction room for Thursday's Important Paintings and Contemporary Art auction online bidding and live streaming will be available via If you are interested in bidding online please register directly on the Live Auctioneers website. Apps are available for iPhones and Android phones.

Alternatively phone and absentee bidding is available. Please complete an Absentee/ Phone Bid form and  email to  Art+Object  by 2pm on the auction date. 

The Collection of Dame Judith Binney and Sebastian Black: Preliminary Highlights

By Art+Object on 4th June 2015

Despite the inclement Auckland weather a very good crowd of collectors turned out last night for the auction of The Collection of Dame Judith Binney and Sebastian Black.  Total sales on the night were $600 000 and the top selling lot went to Brent Wong's 1971 masterpiece, Capitulation which set a new record for the artist's work at auction bringing $146 560.  Some of the preliminary highlights included:

Lot 1 Julian Hooper $4220
Lot 5 Greer Twiss $6915
Lot 10 Barry Lett $3750
Lot 12 Pat Hanly $7270
Lot 15 Caludia Pond-Eyley $6445
Lot 26 Gretchen Albrecht $34 000
Lot 27 Gordon Walters $64 485
Lot 30 Greer Twiss $49 245 * a new record price for the artist's work at auction
Lot 33 Brent Wong $146 560  * a new record price for the artist's work at auction (illustrated)
Lot 35 Colin McCahon $79 730
Lot 43 Robert Ellis $5860
Lot 44 Colin McCahon $5625
Lot 49 Ralph Hotere $5570
Lot 50 David Armitage $5860
Lot 52 Ralph Hotere $35 175
Lot 54 Don Binney $4570
Lot 59 Don Namundja $1875
Lot 60 Ginger Riley $3870
Lot 63 Marilyn Webb $1230
Lot 76 Philip Trusttum $3400
Lot 78 Alan Taylor $1700
Lot 84 D. Carrau $1025

All prices listed include buyer's premium and GST.  A full list of prices realised will be published online shortly.   


By Art+Object on 2nd June 2015

Live streaming and online bidding for Thursday's Collection of Dame Judith Binney & Sebastian Black auction will be available via  Online bidders will need to register on the Live Auctioneers website. Apps are available for iPhones and android phones.

Alternatively if you are unable to be present in the auction room and would like to place a bid please complete an  Absentee/ Phone Bid form and email to  Art+Object by 2pm on the auction date. 

Michael Parekowhai: The Promised Land at GOMA

By Art+Object on 17th April 2015

The latest exhibition to open at Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is a tour de force by the extraordinary New Zealand artist, Michael Parekowhai.

In 2011 he represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale with an ambitious exhibition entitled On First Looking into Chapman's Homer, featuring the now infamous bronze bulls atop grand pianos in the garden of a Venetian palazzo.

This latest exhibition is billed as a retrospective, but Parekowhai has not been content to simply gather together and exhibit work made over the past 25 years or so of his highly successful career. Instead, he offers us The Promised Land, a visual and sensory journey through a combination of major new work, familiar friends and pieces that we thought we knew, but that the artist has rewritten. 

In typically New Zealand fashion, we enter the exhibition through the back door of a two storey coral-coloured house, constructed within the gallery, to be greeted by a larger-than-life stainless steel sculpture of Captain James Cook (The English Channel, 2015), pensively sitting upon a tripod table. Cook is surrounded by a wallpaper army of Parekowhai's familiar security guards and businessmen, cast on a smaller scale and in a variety of quirky colours. From here the journey through this delightful 'memory palace' begins as the viewer becomes immersed in the wonderful world of Michael Parekowhai. 

GOMA's huge Fairfax Gallery, which may be daunting to some, is skillfully divided into thirds, with the second part of the exhibition, The Homefront, taking place beyond a giant Cuisenaire-rod wall.  Individual rooms within highlight aspects of the artist's practice and perhaps provide insights into his interests - religion, war, the planets, music, home and places far away to name but a few. Parekowhai is interested in making the ordinary extra-ordinary, highlighting everyday imagery rather than the exotic. One of the lightbulb moments for me in this exhibition was the skill with which Parekowhai gives what we may regard as 'common' items gravitas.  Sparrows, rabbits, golf balls and lemon trees straight from the garden centre are transformed into beautiful sculptural objects via Parekowhai's skill hand.

Queensland Art Gallery holds a collection of Parekowhai's work, with the most significant piece being The Horn of Africa 2006, a piano balanced upon a seal's nose. Spectacular in its appearance, it sits playfully in one of the final rooms, amongst photographs from the series The Consolation of Philosophy: piko nei te maenga 2001. While Parekowhai can be playful, his work is always sincere, and to me this room feels like a true example of the artist's ability to traverse a range of emotions. 

From here you exit into a massive, magical room which holds what was the centrepiece of the Venice exhibition, the red piano, He Kōrero Pūrākau mo Te Awanui o Te Motu: story of a New Zealand river 2011. As the artist says, no object can fill a room like sound can. A little girl danced and other visitors sat quietly in the bronze school chairs dotted around the room as the piano was played. Above it on a wall is a recent neon work which flickers on and off with the word "Closed". At other times it says "Lose".  Perhaps he is reminding us that this art business is really just a game?

GOMA itself is a wonderful destination to visit. I can recommend lunch at the terrace restaurant, where the signature dessert appeared looking very much like an Aboriginal dot painting but is in fact a delicate wattleseed custard. Outside the gallery, beside the river, don't miss Parekowhai's major bronze, The World Turns 2011-12, commissioned in 2011 to mark the 5th anniversary of the opening of GOMA and 20 years of the Asia Pacific Triennal of Contemporary Art.

The exhibition continues until June 21, so if you are able to make it to Brisbane before then, you will be well rewarded. - Leigh Melville





Rare Books: Auction Highlights

By Art+Object on 16th April 2015

A very strong first book sale of the year was held on April 15 2015 with spirited bidding throughout from bidders in the room, absentee and online. The highest price achieved was $163 715 for David Samwell's A Narrative of the Death of Captain Cook (London: G.G.J. and J. Robinson 1786), lot 23. A high price was also achieved for a mezzotint after Benjamin West 'Mr Banks' (1773), lot 26, which sold for $90 950, one of the highest prices achieved for a Cook's voyages related print.  

Other preliminary highlights include:

Lot 29 Edward Lear - Three letters, Christmas card and photographs $11 820

Lot 141 New Zealand Football Team 1905 - Middlesex County v New Zealand $2670

Lot 153 Major Fiennes Colville letter $2790

Lot 175 Sapper H Moore-Jones - Sketches made at Anzac $6185

Lot 195 Major-General Robley - Moko; or Maori Tattooing $1040

Lot 232 Antonio Zatta - La Nuova Zelanda trascorsa nel 1769 e 1770 $1940

Lot 249 Ernest Shackleton - South $3880

Lot 268 Gold mining documents - Licences and Miner's Rights $1695

Lot 302 Janet Frame - Mona Minim and the Smell of the Sun $1455

Lot 348 Nelson postcards $1165

Lot 360 Aurora Tavern Britannia Saloon - Promissory notes $970

Lot 370 Photograph panorama - Wellington 1862 $2060

 *All prices include buyer's premium and GST.  A full list of prices realised will be published online shortly.

Cataloguing has commenced for Art + Object's next Rare Book auction, scheduled for early August 2015, and entries are invited. Please direct all inquiries to Pam Plumbly, Rare Book Consultant:, +64 21 448200 or +64 9 3544646.