Tuesday, 7 March 2006
The Art Gallery of New South Wales announced today its purchase, under the newly established Gleeson O'Keefe Foundation, of Australian sculptor Robert Klippel's masterwork from the early 1970s, No. 300. This is the Gleeson O'Keefe Foundation's inaugural purchase.
Robert Klippel (1920 - 2001) is widely regarded as Australia's greatest sculptor.
No. 300 - an abstract construction of brazed and welded steel, found objects and geometric sections - was sold last night as part of the highly publicised William R. Burge collection of Australian and International Pictures and Sculptures, organised by Christies Auctioneers, Sydney.
The Gleeson O'Keefe Foundation, a major fund recently established by James Gleeson and Frank O'Keefe, was set up to acquire and give to the Art Gallery of New South Wales works of lasting importance to the art and general communities.
James Gleeson, Australia's pre-eminent Surrealist painter and long standing close associate of Robert Klippel, professed himself "thrilled" with this purchase.
"The Art Gallery of New South Wales collection of Robert Klippel's work is fabulously enriched by this acquisition," Gallery Director Edmund Capon said. "Works of this calibre and from this period in Klippel's oeuvre rarely come onto the market.
"In No. 300 - a complex yet seemingly effortless sculpture - Klippel deals brilliantly with his central artistic preoccupations to link this modernist machine-organic form to the great traditions of Western sculpture.'"
"The Gallery received an enormous boost to our collections by a gift from the artist's son Andrew Klippel in 2003," said Capon. "With that work, and now the acquisition of the splendid No. 300, the Art Gallery of New South Wales houses two of those sculptures the artist considered to be his greatest works. We are thrilled that the Gleeson O'Keefe Foundation could make this possible'."
Robert Klippel No. 300 1972-74
construction of brazed and welded steel, found objects and geometric sections
Art Gallery of New South Wales.
The Gleeson O'Keefe Foundation, 2006