Lot 103
  • 103

Trevor Nickolls born 1949 TOP HAT

Estimate
10,000 - 15,000 AUD
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Description

  • Trevor Nickolls
  • TOP HAT
  • signed Trevor Nickolls and dated 1984 (lower right) 
  • synthetic polymer paint on linen
  • 137 BY 91CM

Provenance

Painted in 1984
Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne
Deutscher-Menzies, Aboriginal Art, 29 June,1999, lot 146 (label on stretcher on the reverse)
Private collection

Condition

The work is housed in a shadow box frame with no visible signs of repair or restoration and is in a good and stable condition overall.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

Cf. Big boss hat, 1987, in M.A O'Ferrall, 1990 Venice Biennale. Australia: Rover Thomas - Trevor Nickolls, Perth: Art Gallery of Western Australia, 1990, p.40, pl.17, illus.

Trevor Nickolls is a pioneer in the history of the art of city based Indigenous artists. His first solo exhibition, From Dreamtime to Machinetime in 1978 was mounted at a time when Indigenous artists of similar background were largely shunned by the mainstream art world. His work was included in the exhibition Koori Art '84 at Artspace in Sydney, now regarded as a landmark in establishing the presence of Indigenous artists away from the remote areas of the Northern Territory. In turn, the latter exhibition led to the establishment of Boomalli in Sydney – the first city-based artists' cooperative that nurtured emerging Indigenous artists in the city. In 1990 Nickolls was, along with Rover Thomas, the first Aboriginal artist to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale.

One of the major recurring themes in Nickolls work is the dichotomy between traditional life in the natural environment and the so-called civilization of city living as characterized by his Dreamtime and Machinetime paintings. Top Hat, 1984, contrasts an idyllic world of freedom and the connection with the environment, and the notion of authority as symbolized by the top hat.

For an early biography of the artist, see U. Beier, Dream Time – Machine Time: The art of Trevor Nickolls, Bathurst and Sydney: Robert Brown & Associates with the Aboriginal Artists Agency, 1985.