1970-05-02, English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: ART Import week (2 May 1970)

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ART Import week (2 May 1970)
 
Bookmark: https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/263386721
Physical Description
  • 890 words
  • article
  • photo
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Published
  • xna, John Haynes and J.F. Archibald, 1970-05-02
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • ART Import week (2 May 1970)
Appears In
  • The bulletin., v.92, no.4702, 1970-05-02 (ISSN: 0007-4039)
Other Contributors
  • ELWYN LYNN
Published
  • xna, John Haynes and J.F. Archibald, 1970-05-02
Physical Description
  • 890 words
  • article
  • photo
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Series
Part Of
  • The bulletin.
  • Vol. 92 No. 4702 (2 May 1970)
  • John Ryan Comic Collection (Specific issues).
Subjects
Summary
  • ART Import week ELWYN LYNN Sepik Art, Aubusson Tapestries, Bonython thon Galleries, Sydney. European Contemporaries. Villiers Gallery, Sydney. IT IS IMPORT week: the imports could be used for seminars and sermons on the economics of art, but it should be enough to say that high European prices have more justification than high prices in Australia, where the market fluctuates with an unpredictability ility that would be the despair of European dealers of repute. Their prices are high, but are consistent with those elsewhere. The Asger Jorn at Sepik mask from the Kellner collection Lucebert's "The Fools," the bargain of the show Villiers is 28in. x 36in. and costs $A.6000; one at Lefebre Gallery, New York, last year, 36in. x 48in. cost $U.5.8500 and one has to take into account Australia’s import taxes of 15 to 20 percent. The large Vasarely tapestry Vega Sakk, 104 in. x 104 in. costs $12,300 cheaper than one about the same size shown in Australia last year and costing, it was said, about $lB,OOO. Recently, I’m told, a Dobell, 27in. x 27in., went for about $15,000. And so on . . . it’s rather futile to make comparisons unless one considers at least two matters: the aesthetic worth of the piece and its value as a resale investment. Unless buying from oneman man shows of foreign work, Australians can hardly make comparisons and, unless they travel extensively, rely on the dealer’s eye; and why not, as in the case of Mr. Vago of Villiers, who has made some fine selections, especially in a beautifully fragile, poised, delicate but firm Ben Nicholson Still Life (llin. x 12in., $2200), who deserves his position tion as recent, elder-modem master, as does John with his paint-lashed and tom figures strewn across Seven Types of Ambiguity ($6000), Henri Hayden with Vue Sur Sammeron (28in. x 36in., $4000), an umbrageously lyrical landscape scape with the mossy-greens breaking into central, stirring mauves, oranges and emeralds. Those interested in the kind of flickering, dashing calligraphy that influenced Pollock might be taken with Andre Masson’s small Tournoi de Fleurs ($2500) and anyone who has doubts about Expressionism’s ability to renew itself ought to be assured by the two fine Luceberts, one, The Fools (25in. x 19in., $800), a green-blue vegetable table man sprouting three-fingered limbs. The Fools is the bargain of the show; so is Bram Bogart’s slab of thick black on battery white in Black White Black (24in. x 24in., $800), but it, of course, would appeal to a more special clientele. The relaxed English with Kit Barker’s Sea Houses (30in. x (58in., $750), Peter Kinley’s Landscape with Clouds (30in. x 36in., $750) and the pale, subtle art of suggestiveness in William Brooker’s Still Life with Fluted Vase (30in. x 33in., $800) are cheaper and might be thought to be so because they are simpler and less demanding, but their simplicity is deceptive, a fact that might be better revealed when each has his one-man show at the venturesome some Villiers. There are some really fine pieces among the 78 Sepik works from Stephen Kellner’s collection, such as a complete flute, feathers and all ($186), a rare, brown-black, bristly pigskin shield ($225) and a clay-covered mast ($B6) on a woven ground that sprouts delicate feathers. It’s an art, like that of Jorn, Appel and Lucebert at Villiers, that confirms the theory of art objects as expressive symbols. The tapestry makers from Aubusson incline to derive directly from that French art that was concerned with the manipulation of shapes as in Übac, BrookeKs "Still Life with Fluted Vase" Albers, Vasarely, Sugai and Mortensen or of symbols as in Coburn, Zadkine or Le Doux, the last’s La Grappe et L’Epi (76in. by 116 in., $7600), with its full grapes and heads of wheat, pursuing, as few do, the notion of tapestry as “verdure.” In seven works (each $3250) John Coburn illustrates the days of Creation with a lather too insistently ravishing color, often too close in tone and often too crowded in forms, though First Day is compellingly simple. They might look much more impressive in a dim, religious light. I am doubtful about the translation of Albers into tapestry and whether it does not inhibit the subtle movement of his squares; there is no doubt, however, the Zadkine’s two overlapping, linear figures are enlivened by the of the contours as they cross the weave. Mortensen’s Res at Signa (85in. x 65in., $5650) succeeds, for he allows his signs, both most asymmetrical and facing ing one another, to form an oblong of blue and yellow, to push his work toward the liveliness of a banner or festive flag. Vasarely’s CTA-103 Argent (80in. x 80in., $8350) is a square of shimmering discs that move by almost imperceptible degrees to a central, climatic group of four black circles. His Vega Sakk is a science-fiction tour de force with an enormous dome of yellow and black circles and ovals swelling out and swimming ming on a sea of small discs. The greatest work around is Jean Arp’s Homme, Moustache, Nombril (80in. x 81 in., $8300), where the green, biomorphic areas approach one another with tantalising ease, and the general relaxation is given just that necessary liveliness with >a comically sharp moustache. tache. Only Arp could have done it, humor and all, but he, though only recently being appreciated, is a genius.
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  • In Copyright
Language
  • English
Identifier
  • AP7 (LC)

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