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The collection of one of Australia's most avid collectors and generous patrons to be auctioned by Bonhams Australia
Brownyn Oliver (1959-2006), Spin, 2003. Brazed copper, height: 32.5cm (12 13/16in). Est: AU$40,000 - 60,000. Photo: Bonhams.

SYDNEY.- Bonhams Australia is delighted to be offering the Australian art collection of the Late Michael Hobbs OAM to market in June. Michael was an avid collector, generous benefactor and friend to many and his collection is a testament to a lifelong passion. Spanning works from the 1960s through to present day, Michael collected vigorously and in depth, often making gifts of works to public institutions or supporting avant-garde projects. Considered a friend by many leading Australian artists, in January of 2017, Michael was recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the visual arts as a supporter and benefactor.

Director of Bonhams Australia, Merryn Schriever said, “Michael Hobbs was an extraordinarily generous and gregarious man who was much admired in the Sydney art world from the 1950s until earlier this year. He was a great friend to many Australian artists and had a keen and adventurous eye for art with many connections including founding chair of Art Monthly Australia from 1989-1997. We are honoured to be assisting the family with the sale of Michael’s collection and to donate a percentage of proceeds towards the establishment of an art award in Michael’s honour.”

Michael’s collection is testament to his huge range in taste and a lifetime of collecting with works of all media ranging from the some of his first pieces to his last bought in January 2018. Some of Michael’s earliest acquisitions from Gallery A in the 1960s are on offer including an important work by Ralph Balson, Painting no. 36, 1956 (estimate: $80,000 – 120,000) and a handsome Robert Klippel bronze construction. It is Michael’s passion for sculpture that is evident throughout the collection, with works by Bronwyn Oliver, Caroline Rothwell, Alex Seton, and Nell together with paintings by Cressida Campbell, Rosalie Gascoigne, Nicholas Harding, and Narelle Jubelin.

As his children write, “For Michael, art was far too valuable to put a price on. His collection is an investment in people and life. The person behind the work was always more important than the work. What mattered, was supporting the artist and sharing the work with as many people as possible.”

Bonhams will be donating a percentage of its proceeds from the sale of the Collection of Michael Hobbs OAM for the establishment of The Michael Hobbs People’s choice award. The Award will partner with

Contour 556 to support the work of Australian artists and will foster the role of art as vital to public and creative life. The recipient of the inaugural 2018 Michael Hobbs People's Choice Award will be announced at the conclusion of Contour 556 on 27 October 2018 in Canberra.

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