Going, going, gone to the Webb’s art auction

Written by Sara Black

Own a bit of art? How about a piece of original art? An artwork by a renowned New Zealand artist even? Art is 100 per cent subjective, sometimes somewhat indescribable but we’re all drawn to it and the (even subconscious) benefits of viewing it can make a real impact on happiness.

Webb’s, New Zealand’s longest-standing auction house (via a short-time collaboration with Australia’s Mossgreen auction house), is the go-to spot for dropping coin at an art auction. Their forthcoming auction ‘Works of Art’ is nigh and below, Sara Black, our resident art director, shares her first-impression interpretations.

Phone Call to Gordon by Richard Killeen; 1995

In Phone Call to Gordon, we see the form of Gordon in a somewhat embryonic state. Essentially a head (albeit rather adult-like [quite a big honker]) atop a wormy, tadpole-ish, tap-dancer-vibe torso. He is cocooned in a telephone wire womb, subconsciously warming to technology before he is birthed into the digital age. He is calling Gordon, his future self to chat about the weather and such other inane topics.

Watercolour on paper 500 x 350mm

Estimate: $2,500 – $5,000 Register your interest: here

Phone Call to Gordon by Richard Killeen

Lounge Dancer by Richard Killeen; 1969

In Lounge Dancer we observe an observer. They are watching an unsuspecting dancer, in mid-head-back-hand-splay abandon. Who catches your attention first? The tight-lipped voyeur wishing they had the mental inhibitions to loosen the invisible binds that society has thrust upon them? Or the dancer, giving zero shits and wobbling around like a half-drunk vessel of Midori playing spin the bottle at a teenage party during lockdown. Are you drawn to the one with which you feel the most emotional connection?

Acrylic and pastel on paper 320 x 495mm

Estimate: $3,000 – $5,000 Register your interest: here

Lounge Dancer by Richard Killeen

Bus Stop by Richard Killeen; 1969

In Bus Stop, we see Killeen bust out the oil paints and bear witness to a multitude of parallels inciting a sense of inner dissonance. We question ourselves with a feebleness, a sudden insecurity of our sense of self. Contrasts abound, red versus green, boy versus girl, soft versus hard, control versus freedom. But, why are the protagonists pretending like the other doesn’t exist and, more worryingly, why aren’t they engrossed in their cellphones? Perhaps the figure at the peak of the hill knows.

Oil on board 450 x 450mm

Estimate: $25,000 – $35,000 Register your interest: here

View these pieces and 89 other artworks via the Webb’s online catalogue: webbs.co.nz

Bus Stop by Richard Killeen

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