Robert Rooney (born 1937) Golden Gate, or Time's Little Sheeler, 1995

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Lot 1
Robert Rooney
(born 1937)
Golden Gate, or Time's Little Sheeler, 1995

Sold for AU$ 12,200 (US$ 8,328) inc. premium
Robert Rooney (born 1937)
Golden Gate, or Time's Little Sheeler, 1995
signed, titled, dated and inscribed: 'ROBERT ROONEY / GOLDEN GATE, OR (TIME'S) LITTLE SHEELER 1995 / ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 102 x 198.6CM'
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
102.0 x 198.5cm (40 3/16 x 78 1/8in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    Collection of the artist
    Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
    Private collection, Perth

    EXHIBITED
    That which I should have done I did not do: Paintings by Robert Rooney, Pinacotheca, Melbourne, 20 September - 7 October 1995, cat. 1

    LITERATURE
    Daniel Thomas, 'Melbourne Modern: The art of Robert Rooney', Art and Australia, vol. 34, no. 4, 1997, p. 482 (illus.)

    Daniel Thomas, in his article on the work of Robert Rooney in Art and Australia, notes, 'Before abstract expressionism there were American works for Australians to admire and emulate, though few besides Rooney were well informed about these alternatives to the usual British and French sources. Rooney was particularly interested in the American-ness of this pre-hegemonic American art, and for an Artist's Choice in Art and Australia he drew attention to Philip Evergood's Art on the Beach, c.1936, a subject from Provincetown, Massachusetts. We might have thought it peculiarly Australian.

    In Life magazine, in an advertisement for Alexander Eliot's forth-coming book, Three Hundred Years of American Painting, 1957, there was a striking detail from Charles Sheeler's painting, Golden Gate, 1955, of the bridge at San Francisco, and Rooney decided that the detail would make a good abstract painting. Somewhat as a tribute to the anonymous graphic designer who chose the advertising detail so well, Rooney – who says he is never in a hurry – at last, nearly forty years on, made the transcription. He titled it Golden Gate, or Time's Little Sheeler, partly because the book was published by the Time Inc., partly as a play on words about time healing oversights and neglect.

    The 1995 exhibition in which Golden Gate appeared – Rooney's most recent – was called 'That Which I Should Have Done I Did Not Do', and that too is an American reference, for it is the title of a famous painting by Ivan le Lorraine Albright of a neglected doorway.'
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