Arthur Boyd achieves world record price at auction in Australia

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Arthur Boyd’s painting ‘Bride Running Away’ recently sold for $1.68 million AUD - this is the highest value ever paid for a Arthur Boyd painting at Auction. Works by Arthur Boyd are for sale at Lawson Menzies’ Sydney Auction on the 16th of August, to view the Arthur Boyds that will be offered go to http://www.lawsonmenzies.com.au.

ARTHUR BOYD (1920-1999)
Horsham Billabong 1958-59
oil on canvas on board 73.0 x 84.0 cm signed lower right: Arthur Boyd

Provenance:
Kraft Foods Ltd. Collection, Melbourne, 1972 H. G. Osborne, Melbourne
Thence by descent, private collection, Victoria
Menzies, Sydney, 23 June 2011, lot 54 Private collection, Melbourne
Reference: Philipp, F., Arthur Boyd, Thames and Hudson, London, 1967, p.255, cat.8.33

It was to the Wimmera, a dryland farming region of north-west Victoria, beyond the Great Dividing Range, that Arthur Boyd travelled in the summer of 1948-49 on a painting excursion. Here he began a series of spartan paintings of the Wimmera farming community culminating in his representing Australia (along with Arthur Streeton) at the Venice Biennale in 1958. What clearly gripped his psyche and continued to bring him back to the area for repeated series of works is the wide openness of the Wimmera that Barry Pearce in his introduction to Boyd’s 1993 retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales described as ‘the empty spaces of the great interior’.

Boyd’s early Wimmera landscapes were people less and bare, occasionally populated with relics of human activity. However, this sense of harshness has been mollified in Horsham Billabong 1958-59, by a luminous sky repeatedly glazed in silver and blue. The wide brown river engulfing the lower half the picture is slow moving, loaded with fertile red silt, and eddying in silence. The farm buildings, outhouses and windmill on the banks beyond have similar brown tones, with the vertical brushmarks giving a sense that the entire landscape is being drawn towards the sky. © Menzies Art Brands Pty Ltd - http://www.menziesartbrands.com

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