Dorrit Black in fact did witness the eruption of Mount Etna in Sicily in 1928 and created this linocut print of her experience (lot 107).
Bonhams perhaps saved the best until last with Australian Grosvenor School expats Ethel Spowers and Dorrit Black bringing up the rear of the auction, lots 94 to 107 of the 107 lot sale – spurred on, no doubt by the incredible prices now being achieved for Ethel Spowers’ work, for example The Gust of Wind which made AU$174,702 IBP in a Bonhams sale in April 2012 (which is the highest price ever paid at auction for a print by any Australian artist, male or female).
A total of 13 prints by Spowers were included in this sale. 5 of those sold for a total of AU$118,958 IBP, the highest price going to Swings from 1932 (lot 94), which sold for $71,152 IBP.
Melbourne from the River (lot 96), a beautiful and serene image with rather a New York feel to it, sold for AU$22,265 IBP, while Resting Models (lot 100) sold for AU$14,472 IBP.
The last lot of the sale, Dorrit Black’s The Eruption (lot 107), sold for $84,608 IBP, a new record for the artist in any medium.
Black’s previous highest price for a print at auction was for Naval Funeral sold by Deutscher + Hackett in August 2008 for $20,400 IBP.
The auction house is also offering two linocuts by Ethel Spowers in their upcoming sale in Melbourne on 30th April: The Bamboo Blind, 1926 (lot 68), with estimates of $8,000-$12,000 and The Rain Cloud, 1931 (lot 69) with estimates of $20,000-$30,000.
From 14th June to 17th September 2014, the Art Gallery of South Australia will exhibit Dorrit Black: Unseen Forces, showcasing 200 works of the modern art of this Adelaide born artist and will also publish a monograph on Black.
2014 looks like Dorrit Black’s year to shine.
Article published originally in Australian Art Sales Digest.