Art Rocks – A Collaborative Collective

By August 2, 2017News

In the sale of single-owner collections, we at Webb’s are privileged to tell the story and represent the rich history of collections as they are presented to the market.

Works from the Art Rocks Buying Collection. 

Webb’s is pleased to present the collection of Auckland-based buying collective Art Rocks to the market. This collection comprises a diverse selection of New Zealand paintings, including works by Stephen Bambury and Sara Hughes.

Warwick Brown, whose collection was sold at Webb’s in May this year, championed art-buying collectives in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Over the last decade, the phenomenon of the art collective has expanded both within New Zealand and globally. Democratic in their approach and structure, these collaborative groups foster a spirit of openness and accessibility towards engaging with art.

Art Rocks was founded by 14 members of varying backgrounds and interests. The group was motivated by a common desire to build the confidence of its members around looking at art, and to learn more about New Zealand painting by contemporary artists.

From the Art Rocks Buying Collection.
Andy Leleisi’uao, ‘Abanimal’, Lot 54.

There are a number of practical and educational advantages to the concept of buying collectives. In addition to the financial benefit of pooled resources, they enable each member to draw on the support of, and be challenged by, like-minded individuals who are passionate about art. In the case of Art Rocks, buying committee responsibilities have been rotated annually over the past 15 years; this means that the group has been exposed to a rich diversity of contemporary New Zealand painting. Following the purchase of each new work, the group would come together for a viewing and social gathering, which often included artist and gallery talks. As one member describes it, this offered a “learning and experience of art that I would not have had in any other forum.”

In the sale of single-owner collections, we at Webb’s are privileged to tell the story and represent the rich history of collections as they are presented to the market. The conclusion and disbanding of this art collective should be viewed very much within this same paradigm; it is an opportunity to appreciate a collection which has, for the members, helped shape their appreciation of New Zealand contemporary art.