Untitled, 2003

15 Paddy Bedford (c1922 – 2007)
Untitled, 2003
gouache on acid free crescent board
50.5 x 76.5 cm
inscribed verso: Jirrawun Arts cat. PBWB200360
Sold for $15,600 (inc. BP) in Auction 15 - 21 July 2010, Melbourne


Jirrawun Arts, Wyndham
William Mora Galleries, Melbourne (stamped verso)
The Collection of William and Lucy Mora, Melbourne

Paddy Bedford’s gouaches are instinctual studies that inspired his last period of great painting. According to Tony Oliver, ‘Gouaches allowed a fluency that suited his temperament as an artist. The language and sensibility of his art progressed as a result of being able to work on paper and experiment with countless variations of his symbols and their composition.’1

As Patrick Hutchings noted when reviewing William Mora Galleries’ show of Bedford’s gouaches in 2004, ‘the patterns and plays of lines were like Immanuel Kant’s “free beauties”. Long before abstract art was invented, Kant came up, in 1790, with a nice notion of how it might work: don’t ask what it is about, it’s about itself. The gouaches were singingly about their own colour and line, like variations in music’.2 ‘They are, as is it were, free variations on the coded elements of the larger works.’3

1. Oliver, T., ‘Bury My Heart at Bow River,’ in Paddy Bedford; Bury My Heart at Bow River, exhibition catalogue, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne, 2009, pp. 18–19 2. Hutchings, P., ‘Of Land Spirit and Freedom, The Age, Melbourne, 11 June 2005 3. Hutchings, P., Paddy Bedford Law and Art, in Petitjean, G., and A. Groen (eds) Paddy Bedford, Crossing Frontiers, Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Utrecht, 2009, p.44