Doubts raised about Rover Thomas painting

Aboriginal Art Directory | 26.03.09

Expert analysis of a Rover Thomas painting bought at auction four years ago has cast doubt on whether the indigenous master painted the work.

A preliminary report from Melbourne University's Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation states that, in view of the evidence available, Grugrugi Owl "cannot be ascribed to the oeuvre of Rover Thomas".

The report says: "If secure provenance exists then it should be presented and tested to determine the possible place of this work in the artist's oeuvre."

Grugrugi Owl was bought by a Sydney collector at a Lawson-Menzies auction in 2005 for $36,600. The collector sent the painting to the CCMC last year after reports in The Australian about problematic Thomas paintings in Lawson-Menzies auctions.

Although the report does not confirm nor deny authenticity, it draws attention to characteristics that may not be typical of Thomas's work. These include: preparation and paint application, brush strokes, background colours and techniques, and the form of the owl featured in the work.


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Gallery: Lawsons Auctioneers
Telephone: +61 2 9566 2377
Address: 8-16 Moore Street Leichhardt Sydney 2040 NSW



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Gallery: Lawsons Auctioneers

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Comments (1)

Can you tell me the controversy surrounding Rover Thomas in and after 1996

Posted by Jack James | November 21, 2009 7:25 AM

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