Art auction features major McCahon from the Pat and Gil Hanly collection

Michael Smither, Kevin Croon Playing Chess, McCahon, Visible Mysteries No. 4, Michael Smither, Walnuts in Blue Bowl, Michael Smither, Thomas with coloured block, Michael Illingworth, Untitled

Mossgreen-Webb’s Fine Art Auction

Major works of impeccable provenance by Colin McCahon and Michael Smither are key features of Mossgreen-Webb’s Important Paintings & Contemporary Art Auction, which goes on view on July 29 in advance of the sale on August 7.

Colin McCahon’s Visible Mysteries No. 4 comes from the collection of Pat and Gil Hanly, and has been with the family since its purchase nearly 50 years ago. The wide-ranging estimate of the work, $480,000-700,000, is indicative of the work's importance and rarity.

In his essay for the catalogue, historian and critic Peter Simpson writes, “Pat and Gil Hanly purchased Visible Mysteries No. 4 on the opening night of Colin McCahon’s exhibition at Barry Lett Galleries, in October 1968. The four people involved in the transaction were well known to each other and were close to the epicentre of Auckland’s exploding art scene.”

The forthcoming auction will also present four highly characteristic paintings by Michael Smither which were bought in the 1970s and taken to Western Australia soon afterward by an emigrating Kiwi family, Levanah and Kevin Croon. They have not been seen in this country since they were first made and sold, enhancing their freshness and sense of rediscovery.   

These works, painted between 1973 and 1978, are a kind of time-capsule of Smither’s work from one of his most productive and accomplished periods, and they represent four of his signature genres: domestic narrative (Thomas at Play); still life (Bowl of Walnuts); portraiture (Portrait of Kevin Croon); and landscape/marine (Blue Bottle on Black Sand and Back Beach).

The auction also features significant works from the collection of filmmaker Robin Scholes, including ’Who am I?’ by Pat Hanly as well as strong works by Colin McCahon and Ralph Hotere.

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