MELBOURNE.- Deutscher and Hackett, a leading Australian fine art auction house, are excited to announce that its final auction for the year, to be held in Melbourne on November 26, will feature an exceptionally rare and important work by Colin McCahon. The painting, Mondrians Last Chrysanthemum: Scared, has been held in a private collection for the last 12 years, and its sale represents an exceptional opportunity to secure the work before it disappears once more.
Mondrians Last Chrysanthemum: Scared is one of five works in a small but iconic group of paintings by Colin McCahon from 1976. Referred to collectively as the Scared series, the remaining four paintings in the group are Scared (also known I am scared, I stand up) (Te Papa Tongarewa/Museum of New Zealand, Wellington), Am I scared (Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth), Open Door (Private collection, Lower Hutt), and Scared: a small prayer (Private collection, Geneva).
In the Scared paintings McCahon sought to confront the very deepest issues of the human condition. As was so often the case within the artists various series, he developed his theme from the personal to the universal over the course of the five images. Thus while the first two images, Scared and Am I Scared, express the personal, Open Door and Scared: a small prayer are calls to the divine. Mondrians Last Chrysanthemum: Scared, the final painting in the series, is a vision of nuclear annihilation.
Mondrians Last Chrysanthemum: Scared, has an extensive exhibition history, most notably in the 2002 exhibition Colin McCahon A Question of Faith, which was organized by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The exhibition also toured to City Gallery, Wellington, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Auckland, the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney over a two year period.