Grundy Art Auction Sets Records In Australia

June 26, 2013

Reg GrundyThe sale of 89 Australian artworks from the collection of long-time Bermuda residents Reg Grundy and his wife Joy Chambers Grundy earned a stunning A$19.16 million [US$18.6 million] in Sydney today [June 26].

Grossing A$15.7 million under the hammer, against earlier estimates of A$15.5 million to A$20.8 million, the total sale — including auctioneers Bonhams fees — made it Australia’s most valuable single-owner art auction ever.

The top performer was Fred Williams’ “You Yangs Landscape” [1963], which took A$1.875 million under the hammer, to a total premium sale of A$2,287,500.

The next biggest performer was the late Melbourne artist John Brack’s “The New House” [1953], which went for a premium sale of A$1.952 million. It showed a woman in an apron leaning into her suited man by a home fireplace.

Media mogul Mr. Grundy, 89 [pictured at top], was responsible for such internationally successful Australian-produced shows as ”The Restless Years”, “The Young Doctors”, “Prisoner” and “Neighbours” as well as a slew of game show formats — including “Sale of the Century” — which have also been exported around the world.

The Australian producer and his novelist wife have considered Bermuda their primary residence since 1982 although they also has homes in Los Angeles and London.

Joy Chambers Grundy has said of the art sale: “Reg and I have collected fine art in various forms for more than 30 years. With the Australian collection our emphasis has been on striking images by major artists.

Australian artist Fred Williams’ “You Yangs landscape 1″ [1963]

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“In this way we’ve been able to showcase the acme of Australian art on our walls overseas.

“We now have too many paintings, many more than we can ever hang. We hate storing them, they should be seen, appreciated and enjoyed, so we’ve decided to rationalise part of the collection to allow many exceptional paintings to find new owners.”

The couple did not attend the auction Joy Chambers Grundy was said to have been emotional about parting with the paintings, having flown out of Sydney on Tuesday rather than be present the sale.

Record prices were achieved at the auction for works by such Australian artists as Herbert Badham, Margaret Preston, Tony Tuckson and Narelle Jubelin.

– Reg Grundy photograph courtesy of Joy Chambers Grundy

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