26th June 2017
For immediate release
NEW AUCTION WORLD RECORD PRICE FOR RUSSELLDRYSDALE & THE FIFTH HIGHEST AUCTION PRICE EVER FOR ANY AUSTRALIAN ARTWORK: SALE AT MOSSGREEN
‘Grandma’s Sunday Walk’ sells for AUD$2.976 million(£1.8M)
Mossgreen, the leading Australian auction house, sold Russell Drysdale’s paintingGrandma’s Sunday Walk 1972 for AUD$2.976 million (£1.8m) in Adelaide Sunday 25th June.
This makes a new auction world record price for the artist and the fifth highest auction price ever for any Australian artwork.
Paul Sumner, CEO of Mossgreen, says: ”Russell Drysdale’s Grandma’s Sunday Walk represents a truly iconic image of the Australian outback by one of Australia’s most important artist’s. While it was a relatively late work in the artist’s career, it had everything going for it with scale, quality and its composition that sums up the harshness of the Australian outback and celebrates the every-day heroes that Drysdale made his name with. It was also fresh to the market having not been on the market for over 30 years. Multiple bidders chased the work to its final selling price which was the fifth highest price ever for an Australian artwork and a new world record for the artist.”
Sumner adds: “The painting was created for a show at Leicester Galleries London in 1972 as the artist showed mostly there at that time. Sir Russell was from a wealthy family, so not the struggling artist by any stretch, but he felt a great and unusual affection for Aboriginal people and was the first non-indigenous Australian artist to unromantically depict and celebrate the culture and was unusual to say the least for his blue blood background.”
“It is also worth noting that increasingly as the art market evolves into a truly global phenomenon, major Australian artists are happy to hold their shows in Australia these days and not exclusively in London. It would appear that the world has movedon a cog or two from the colonial times.”
The $2.9 million paid by an interstate phone bidder, who asked to remain anonymous, is also the fifth highest price for an artwork sold in Australia.
Grandma’s Sunday Walk, painted in 1972, was the centrepiece of the Alan and Margaret Hickinbotham collection and single-handedly passed the previous Adelaide record of $1.4 million set by the entire Warren and Bunty Bonython collection three years ago. More than 90 per cent of the 250 lots in the Hickinbotham auction were sold for a total $4.3