This unique auction milestone offered by Bonhams
in Sydney, Australia on November 21, will be the first time a single-artist Aboriginal art sale has been held anywhere. The carefully selected 26 works, hand-picked by the specialist team from Bonhams in consultation with the Estate have also never been offered on the secondary market before.
Bedford, who died in 2007, is one of Australia's most acclaimed contemporary artists and undoubtedly one of the most celebrated and successful Aboriginal artist of the last decade. His works are represented in all major Australian institutions as well as the Essl Museum in Vienna, Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art (AAMU), Utrecht and major national and international collections including the Serval and Jürg Dähler collections from Switzerland. His significant status as an artist is reinforced as he is the only Indigenous Australian artist to have a catalogue raisonné.
For the first time Bonhams will tour Aboriginal Art internationally, with this sale to be previewed in London (Oct 22-25) and New York (Nov 4-7), Melbourne (Nov 11 - 13) and Sydney (Nov 18-20). The collection comprises some of Bedfords greatest works ranging from gouaches (51 x 76cm) estimated at $7,500-10,000 to natural earth pigments on Belgian linen works (80 x 100cm, 122 by 135cm and 150 x 180), the largest paintings priced at $150,000-180,000 each. Overall, the combined low estimate of the sale totals $1,460,000.
In his relatively short career as an artist Paddy Bedford had many significant achievements. In 2007 the artist was shown in a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and was later commissioned to produce the major feature wall of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. In 2009 he was honoured with a solo museum exhibition in the Netherlands entitled Paddy Bedford: Crossing Frontiers, at the Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art in Utrecht. Most recently a painting was featured in Contemporary Aboriginal Painting from Australia (2009-2010) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and others in Remembering Forward: Australian Aboriginal Painting Since 1960, Museum Ludwig, Cologne during 2010-2011. Several of the paintings in Bonhams auction have been included in a number of these recent museum exhibitions.
Tim Klingender, Bonhams Senior Consultant to the Aboriginal art department comments: We will be holding an extraordinarily exciting sale after being granted the opportunity to hand pick works for a single owner auction from the estate of artist, Paddy Bedford. Bedford enjoyed a spectacular rise to fame during the last ten years of his life, and his paintings have tended to be considered and exhibited as Contemporary art, and been acquired by Contemporary art collectors worldwide. Fortuitously his managers put aside much of his great work, in order to provide for his descendants and community and we are lucky enough to be able to offer a number of these in this sale. The auction provides an opportunity to buy works by the artist of exceptional quality, which are fresh to the market by the leading exponent of this art genre. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors of this unique Australian artist.