Modern Masters of Print

23/02/2016     Modern & Contemporary British Art, News Stories & Press Release

Modern & Contemporary Print Auction
Auction Date 5 March 2016
Lot 118 Keith Haring, ”Untitled, No 5”, Fertility Suite, 1983; screenprint in colours, signed
London – Roseberys Fine Art Auctioneers present their Modern & Contemporary Print Auction; featuring works from renowned international artists including Keith Haring, Edward Burra, Albert Irvin and Josef Vachal on 5 March.
Keith Haring: 1958-1990 In his short but impressive career no other artist has left a creative signature on the world like Keith Haring. His iconic imagery adorns the walls of galleries, museums and private collections across the world.
Painting and drawing from an early age Haring was inspired by his cartoonist father; though he abandoned his first formal arts education and shied away from becoming a commercial graphic artist to pursue a life that was part of the thriving alternative sub culture of 80s New York.
Artists were beginning to work outside of the confines of the gallery, taking their work to the streets, subways and former dance halls. During this time he formed artistic alliances with fellow artists Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat all of whom explored graffiti and developed strong iconography in their work. Scharf continues to work in New York to this day.
Haring’s irreverent style harnessed the feeling of New York at that time and allowed him to tackle delicate issues in a bright, bold, non-confrontational but daring ways, bringing to the forefront of society’s thinking; religion, sex, racism and AIDS.
Haring succumbed to AIDS in 1990, but in his short career he was a game changer in the direction of ‘street’ art. Most notably he opened his Pop Shop which was described in his own words as: “Here’s the philosophy behind the Pop Shop: I wanted to continue the same sort of communication as with the subway drawings. I wanted to attract the same wide range of people and I wanted it to be a place where, yes, not only collectors could come, but also kids from the Bronx … this was still an art statement”.
The Pop shop has been recreated numerous times around the world in some of the most highly respected art galleries, and continues to allude that feeling of ‘one and all’.
26 years after his death his signature imagery still feels as relevant today as it did to a generation of young artists and public in 80s New York.
“Untitled, No 5”, Fertility Suite by Keith Haring is a screenprint in colours, from a series of 5 prints. Signed by the artist and numbered 81/100. The print is dated 83 in pencil.
[Lot 118] Estimate £5,000 – £7,000.
Edward Burra: 1905-1976 The unplaceable, the secretive, the challenge; the great English artist who followed his own path rather than that of current fashions. Longterm health problems which held in back from other pursuits in life may have led to him becoming a painter.
His unconventional manner used to sit with a minority interest yet, He was painting urban figures while his peers where exploring abstraction. Now his imagery stands as a snapshot of history and holds its own in any gallery.
A strong British name of strong British painting.
“Woodcuts”, 1928-29 by Edward Burra is a complete suite of nine woodcuts, printed in 1971, published by Nicholas Treadwell Gallery, from the edition of 45 each numbered 6/45 in pencil.
“Royal Favourites” signed in pencil, the following eight signed with initials in pencil. From the Collection of the Late Lionel Levy, co-founder of The Portal Gallery
[Lot 271] Estimate £1,550 – £2,500
Albert Irvin RA OBE: 1922-2015 Was a prolific British painter and screenprinter. His bright sprawling canvasses and prints exude passion and energy. With a longstanding career and continued collaborations with Advance London Graphics Irvin is hailed as one of Britain’s foremost printmakers.
His work sells around the world and he has been the centre of many talks, exhibitions and art events for the last four decades.
He has lead as an inspiration to younger generations of hopeful artists for many years, firmly cementing himself and his work as an important part of British Art today.
“Druid II” by Irvin is published by Advanced London Graphics in 1984. The colour screenprint is signed, dated 84 and numbered 26/35
[Lot 133] Estimate £500 – £700
Finally Roseberys Fine Art Auctioneers are thrilled to present the works of the late Czech artist Josef Váchal.
 Josef Váchal, 1884-1969:
To many Josef Váchal can be looked up as the Czech William Blake. A writer, painter, graphic designer and book-printer, Váchal died in poverty in 1969 after being ostracized by the communist rulers of Czechoslovakia.
One of his finest pieces of work is Satanu – a dramatic interpretation of a poem by the Italian Giosuè Carducci (1835-1907), noted poet, historian and politician.
Published in an edition of only 17, Váchal made the paper by hand, created the 1000 printed characters and printed it in his studio in the Prague district of Vrsovice. Vachal presents a series of visual meditations that are some of his strongest, including an abstraction with alchemical symbols and possibly one of the most remarkable busts of the Lord of Darkness in the frontispiece. The artist was a lover of fine literature and poetry, and Carducci provides ample catalytic power in his strong declaration of free thought and personal autonomy for the individual. This book was published in the period of what could be considered the zenith of Váchal’s output (1918-1933) and is one of his undisputed masterworks. Váchal did not normally bind his private printing, doing so in very few cases, such as the rare example presented here.
“Satunu, Basen”, a poem by Giosuè Carducci, is a stunning and extremely rare publication by the artist, 1926.
A complete edition with eleven full page coloured woodcuts and three smaller coloured linocuts, together with hand printed text, signed with five thumb prints signifying this is the fifth copy out of the edition of seventeen, on the artists handmade paper, bound in a red leather cover presented as a book.
[Lot 166] Estimate £8,000 – £12,000
Roseberys London Fine Art Auctioneers are proud to bring a superb selection of artists to the Modern & Contemporary Print Auction 5 March 2016.


Roseberys is a privately owned auction house operating at the heart of the fine art market for more than 25 years.
With offices in London’s Mayfair and Lambeth Roseberys offer a calendar of more than twelve specialist fine art, antiques and collectibles auctions each year.
Specialist sales include a wide range of Asian and Islamic Arts, Modern and Contemporary Art and Design, Decorative Art, Fine Silver and Jewellery, Ceramics, Paintings, Prints, Photography, Antique Textiles, Vintage Fashion and Fine Wine and Whisky.
Roseberys team of world-renowned specialists also provide a wide range of art market services to professional clients, including valuations for insurance and probate.
Roseberys is a member of SOFAA – The Society of Fine Art Auctioneers.
For more information on any of the Lots mentioned please contact
Press Contact
Charlotte Meddings                                                               
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