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Sidney Nolan / Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) Kiewa Valley, 1936-37

Lot 1
Sidney Nolan
Kiewa Valley, 1936-37
23 August 2022, 18:00 AEST

AU$15,000 - AU$20,000

Sidney Nolan (1917-1992)

Kiewa Valley, 1936-37
signed, dated and inscribed verso: 'Kiewa / 1936 ? / 1937 / Nolan';
inscribed verso in Sunday Reed's hand: 'Goodbye 1959'
oil on board
29.0 x 40.5cm (11 7/16 x 15 15/16in).


Sir Sidney Nolan, United Kingdom, until 1992
Lady Nolan, United Kingdom, until 2016
The Estate of Lady Nolan, United Kingdom

Brian Adams, Sidney Nolan: Such is life, a biography, Hutchinson Australia, Sydney, 1987, p. 23 (illus.)
T.G. Rosenthal, Sidney Nolan, Thames & Hudson, London, 2002, p. 20 (illus.)

Untitled, c.1934-36, oil on cardboard, 30.2 x 39.5cm, in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Kiewa Valley, 1936-37, oil and white lead on board, 29.5 x 405cm, private collection, Melbourne, illustrated in Jane Clark, Sidney Nolan Landscapes & Legends, International Cultural Corporation of Australia, Sydney, 1987, p. 33

This is one of just three known early plein-air landscapes by Nolan painted during a visit to the Kiewa Valley, Victoria, in the summer of 1936-37, including a similar work in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. They are regarded as Nolan's earliest paintings and demonstrate familiarity with the Post-Impressionists, including Cezanne and van Gogh.

The inscription, 'Goodbye 1959,' written on this painting by Sunday Reed, tells of this painting's later history. When Nolan left Heide in 1947 it was not just his relationship with John and Sunday Reed that he left behind. All his paintings and works on paper from the previous decade remained there. Ten years later when the Whitechapel Gallery in London was arranging Nolan's first retrospective exhibition, its director asked the Reeds to return these works, but they did not comply. The exhibition went ahead but only covered the period from 1947. Two years later they were sent another request and this time, reluctantly, they sent a selection of works but retained many for themselves. Sunday was inconsolable and inscribed notes on some of her favourite works, such as the present painting. John Reed wrote to Nolan that it was only Sunday's 'amazing generosity of spirit which enabled her to part with many treasures which were part of her own flesh and blood.'

Additional information