Bonhams Australia offers 168 works from The Lucio's Collection, Sydney

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Bonhams Australia offers 168 works from The Lucio's Collection, Sydney
Imants Tillers, The Sacred Fish, 2016. Photo: Bonhams.

SYDNEY.- Bonhams Australia presents The Lucio’s Collection in the forthcoming auction LUCIO’S: Food, Art & Friendship. Taking place on Sunday 21 March, the auction will present 168 works by many of Australia’s most respected artists, spanning the restaurant’s almost 40 years of history and celebrating Lucio and Sally Galletto’s contribution to Australia’s culinary and art landscapes.

Merryn Schriever, Director Bonhams Australia comments: ‘As Lucio once said, the combination of great food, great service and great art on the walls is one of the best dining experiences you can imagine. The magic of Lucio’s drew a generation of artists who claimed the restaurant their own and where many books were launched and exhibitions opening nights were celebrated. Now Bonhams presents Lucio’s Collection offering an opportunity to own a work of art from a Collection that represents a unique moment in time when the collision of Australian culinary and artistic giants conspired to create wonderful works of art that until recently graced the walls of Lucio’s Restaurant.’

Highlights of the Sale:

A major painting by Tim Storrier inspired by Lucio’s Restaurant wall colour whereby the artist took a scraping of the yellow Tuscan pigment and incorporated it into the burning ropes and embers of his painting Point to Point (The Midday Blaze Line) 1992 (Estimate AUS $50,000-80,000). Hung on the Restaurant’s back wall was Imants Tillers’ de Chirico’s inspired painting The Sacred Fish (Estimate AUS $8,000-12,000), Tiller’s sacred fish displayed on their sharply perspective platter and were a fitting emblem to Sydney’s temple of Italian dining.

Garry Shead’s unique fresco representation of Ern Malley, the poet who didn’t exist and which became famous as Australia’s greatest literary hoax is offered (Estimate AUS $40,000-60,000) alongside Shead’s legendary outside wall-mounted mosaic that greeted Lucio’s guests, and which has been painstakingly removed for sale (Estimate AUS $20,000-$30,000). The mosaic titled In Ameglia shows D. H. Lawerence and Frieda on the hillside and in the background Shead represented Lucio’s Italian home village. Other highlights include delicate squid ink drawings by Luke Sciberras and earthy landscapes by Elisabeth Cummings and large Bollinger bottle titled The Nebuchadnezzar, decorated by John Olsen and opened to celebrate the artist’s retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1992 (Estimate AUS $2,000-$4,000).

Holding a special place in the Australian art world and recognised by The Independent as one of the five top restaurants in the world for art, Lucio’s was the unofficial equivalent to the Chelsea Arts Club. Its members included John Olsen, Elisabeth Cummings, Luke Sciberras, Garry Shead, Ann Thomson, Hilarie Mais, John Coburn, Tim Storrier and Sidney Nolan, and attracted celebrity diners from all over the world including George Harrison, Al Pacino and Jose Carreras. Over the decades, the walls were lined with works, either given or bought. Some were drawn on napery, others on menus. Almost all are celebrations of Lucio’s food and hospitality.

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