The Evatt Collection of Aboriginal Bark Paintings and Sculpture was amassed over 40 years by renowned barrister, collector and art dealer, Clive Evatt QC. In 1972 Evatt opened Hogarth Galleries in Walker Lane, Paddington which gained its reputation through selling works by avant-garde artists such as Brett Whiteley, Martin Sharp, Peter Kingston and Garry Shed. In 1976, under the influence of curator, anthropologist, archaeologist and founding director of
the Aboriginal Arts Board, Dr Robert Edwards AO, Evatt acquired a collection of Indigenous works and exhibited them in the newly created Gallery of Dreams adjacent to Hogarth Galleries. The exhibition focused on bark paintings from Oenpelli and positioned Evatt as one of the pioneers in the field, with Hogarth Galleries being the first fine art gallery to properly exhibit and represent Aboriginal art centres from Arnhem Land. Following the exhibition,
Evatt was inspired to regularly collect and exhibit works from the communities he represented.
Scheduled on 24 November in Sydney, the sale will be the largest group of bark paintings ever offered at auction as a single collection. The group includes works by the bark painting masters of the 1960s to the 1990s, many of which Evatt collected in great number including Yirawala, Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek, Enraeld Munkara Djulabiyanna, Bobby Barrdjaray Nganjmirra, Mathaman Marika, Declan Apuatimi, Wally Mandaark, Peter Marralwanga, Mick Kubarrku and Crusoe Kuningbal.
Bonhams' Aboriginal Art Specialist, Francesca Cavazzini says:' Acquired over 40 years, the Evatt Collection is a culturally significant representation of works by Australia's most important bark painters and sculptors. No other collection of this scope has ever been presented to market. Comparable in its magnitude to the Arnott's collection, now held by and currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney the Evatt Collection's importance cannot be understated. We are delighted to be handling its sale.'
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com