Sotheby's Australia to Offer Grace Cossington Smith’s Masterpiece for Auction | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Sotheby's Australia to Offer Grace Cossington Smith’s Masterpiece for Auction

Sotheby's Australia to Offer Grace Cossington Smith’s Masterpiece for Auction
Fruit in the Window, 1957 Grace Cossington Smith Estimate $200,000-250,000.
(© The Estate of Grace Cossington Smith)

Sotheby's Australia will be presenting Grace Cossington Smith’s masterpiece for the first time at an auction, this August.

Consigned by the granddaughter of Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE, Grace Cossington Smith’s highly-acclaimed masterpiece, "Fruit in the Window 1957" will be offered for auction by Sotheby’s Australia at its August sale of Important Australian Art at an estimate of $200,000-250,000.  

"The composition discloses a view into the garden on the cool south side of the house, while the foreground is awash with warm tones, scattered with the still life of a chair, drapery, fruit, and jug. The artfully constructed composition of yellow, orange, blue, and green immediately engages and shows Grace Cossington Smith’s mastery of color and distinct technique," stated the auction house in a press release.

Dr Brown is recognized as Australia’s most prolific art collector and dealer. "Fruit in the Window" formed the cornerstone of his personal art collection. With the painting’s particularly distinguished provenance and exhibition history, the composition is a pictorial record of the artist’s domestic environment, a shimmering interior painted in a pointillist manner.

In 2014, Sotheby’s Australia achieved the artist auction record of $671,000 for “The Window,” 1956, formerly in the collection of art historian and art-museum curator, Daniel Thomas, and acquired by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

Geoffrey Smith, Chairman of Sotheby’s Australia commented: "A leading Australian modernist, Grace Cossington Smith’s paintings are particularly treasured by public, corporate, and private collectors; in particular her iridescent light-drenched roomscapes and windowscapes of the late 1950s and early 1960s are amongst her most accomplished and best loved works. We are honored to be entrusted with the sale of this most significant interior by a descendant of the eminent art dealer and benefactor Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE.  Dr Brown’s numerous gifts to Australian museums and galleries greatly enriched our cultural institutions. The sale of ‘Fruit in the Window’ represents a unique opportunity to acquire one of Cossington Smith’s greatest paintings and is sure to generate much excitement."

Grace Cossington Smith’s subjects varied from significant global events to quintessentially Australian scenes, capturing a specific time and place. She was a strong supporter of modernism, credited with leading the Post‐Impressionist movement in Australia. However, it was not until later in her life that she was adequately recognized and in 1973 made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her services to Australian art. That same year a major retrospective of her work toured Australia, cementing her role as a truly brilliant artist.

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