Grace Cossington Smith (1892-1984) Lili Kraus in the Town Hall, 1946
Lot 42
Grace Cossington Smith
(1892-1984)
Lili Kraus in the Town Hall, 1946
Sold for AU$ 207,400 (US$ 157,021) inc. premium

Lot Details
Grace Cossington Smith (1892-1984)
Lili Kraus in the Town Hall, 1946
signed and dated 'G. Cossington Smith 46' lower right; titled and signed 'Lili Kraus at the Town Hall / Grace Cossington Smith' on artist's label verso
oil on pulpboard on hardboard
51.0 x 35.0cm (20 1/16 x 13 3/4in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE 

    Mr Frank Watters, Sydney, 1971
    Mr Victor Fox, Melbourne
    Deutscher~Menzies, Melbourne
    Private collection, Perth, acquired from the above in 1998 
 


    EXHIBITED
    Contemporary Group, Farmer's Blaxland Galleries, 1946 as Lili Kraus
    Grace Cossington Smith, Macquarie Galleries, 15 February - 2 March 1970, cat. 45, dated 1947
    Grace Cossington Smith, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 June - 15 July 1973, then touring; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 6 September - 4 October 1974; Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth, 6 December 1973 - 2 January 1974; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 11 January - 10 February 1974; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 26 March - 28 April 1974, cat. 55 (label attached verso)
    Australian Art: Colonial to Contemporary, Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne, May - June 1995, cat. 57
    Grace Cossington Smith: A Retrospective Exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 4 March - 13 June 2005; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 29 July - 9 October 2005; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 29 October 2005 - 15 January 2006; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 11 February - 30 April 2006
    Style and Synthesis: nine Australian moderns, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Perth, 15 August – 15 October 2008

    LITERATURE
    Daniel Thomas, Grace Cossington Smith, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1973, cat. 55, p. 46 (illus.)
    Australian Art: Colonial to Contemporary, Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne, 1995, cat. 57, p. 51 (illus.)
    Grace Cossington Smith: A Retrospective Exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2005, p. 60 (illus.), p. 179

    RELATED WORK
    Study for Lili Kraus in the Town Hall, 1946, pencil and coloured pencils, sketchbook 21, collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

    Belonging to a group of sophisticated paintings of ballet and orchestral performances, Lili Kraus in the Town Hall, positions the performer within the framework of audience and towering organ pipes. Seated on the aisle, Grace Cossington Smith is both painter and audience, the scene as much about Lili Kraus as it is of the hushed, mysterious communion of concert goers in the stalls.

    Foreshadowed by dynamic works such as Firebird c.1938 and Orchestral concert: Dr Sargent conducting in the Sydney Town Hall, c.1939 (now in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra), curator Deborah Hart noted of this painting: 'A related, more animated work is Lili Kraus in the Town Hall 1946, a work with a dramatic vanishing point, looser brush work and warmer palette. This painting was also preceded by a pencil drawing, in which the artist carefully worked out the composition. On a personal note, she told Daniel Thomas that the figure in the fuschia-coloured coat in the foreground was her sister Diddy. The impact of hearing Lili Kraus never left Cossington Smith - a chance encounter in later years delighting her, as she told Alan Roberts:

    'I spent most the day fixing up a frame for a small early painting I had of Lili Kraus in the Town Hall here... That very evening when I turned on the radio... It was... Beethoven... I thought this is glorious and at the end of it said, 'Lili Kraus playing Beethoven'... She was to be the celebrity artist for the ABC in March. Now don't you think that was a coincidence? She hasn't been in Australia since she came here... After the war.' 1


    1. Deborah Hart, Grace Cossington Smith: A Retrospective Exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2005, p. 60
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
22% on the Hammer Price

GST at the current rate of 10% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Merryn Schriever
    Specialist - Australian Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    97-99 Queen Street
    Sydney, Australia 2025
    Work +61 (0) 2 8412 2222
    FaxFax: +61 2 9475 4110
  2. Alex Clark
    Specialist - Australian Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    Como House
    Melbourne, Australia 3141
    Work +61 3 8640 4088
    FaxFax: +61 2 9475 4110
Similar Items