Works by Mod Brit greats up for auction at Roseberys

23/01/2020     Modern & Contemporary British Art, News Stories & Press Release

LONDON: Affordable works by significant artists from the Modern British canon will be offered for sale at Roseberys London on February 11.

The 393-lot Modern & Contemporary British Art auction will include a comprehensive works on paper section giving bidders the opportunity to buy art for relatively low sums by leading artists like LS Lowry, Peter Lanyon and Frank Auerbach. The section includes studies and sketches for known paintings and prints, such as two by the Grosvenor School artist Cyril Power. In addition, the auction will contain oil paintings and sculpture made by a range of 20th century artists based in Britain including two market-fresh abstract paintings by Richard Smith and material from the studio of the late sculptor Geoffrey Harris.

Helena Anderson, Head of Modern & Contemporary British Art, comments:This sale contains a concentration of works from the early-mid 20th century, including a large number of excellent quality works on paper by well known, high profile artists. These allow the astute collector and connoisseur to see the working processes of these artists, and they provide an opportunity for the newer collector to acquire original works by ‘blue chip’ Modern British artists at an attainable level. There is also a significant collection of modern British sculpture by pioneering mid-century abstract sculptors like Bernard Meadows, Eduardo Paolozzi, Michael Ayrton and John Milne.”

 

WORKS ON PAPER

Gwen John, British 1876-1939- Two female heads; pencil and watercolour
Gwen John, British 1876-1939- Two female heads; pencil and watercolour

Although overshadowed during her lifetime by her brother Augustus John and lover Auguste Rodin, Gwen John’s (1876-1939) reputation has grown steadily since her death. Two small works on paper studies are for sale, both formerly in the collection of her son Edwin John. Two Female Heads, a pencil and watercolour bearing the artist’s studio stamp, is priced at £2,500-3,500, and a black chalk study, Profile of Bourgeois, is priced at £1,500-2,000. [Lot 10-11]

 


Cyril Edward Power, British 1871-1951- Lavenham, Suffolk; watercolour and pencil

From the Grosvenor School are three studies by co-founder Cyril Power (1872-1951). An early market-fresh watercolour estimated at £600-800 depicts the mediaeval town of Lavenham in Suffolk where Power visited regularly on sketching trips. It was here where he produced one of his earliest known linocuts, the medium for which he became famous. Completing the group are two pencil and wax crayon studies for his famous series of prints celebrating the motion and mechanisation of London in the 1920s and 30s. Study IV for 'Whence and Whither?', a typically dynamic sketch of one of Power’s favourite subjects, the Underground escalator, is valued at £1500-2000. In Study of Traffic - Piccadilly Circus II, priced at £800-1200, the artist explores the density and rush of urban motorised traffic. [Lot 73-75]

Laurence Stephen Lowry RA RBA, British 1887-1976- Female Nude; conte on paper
Laurence Stephen Lowry RA RBA, British 1887-1976- Female Nude; conte on paper

The sale will give LS Lowry (1887-1976) collectors a rare opportunity to bid on a group of early drawings by the renowned northern industrial painter. Some of the five-lot group were completed under the tutelage of the French painter Adolphe Valette, as indicated by the artist’s careful inscription ‘av’, and a notation of how long the drawings took to complete. Their authenticity has been confirmed by Martin Summers, former Managing Director of the Lefevre Gallery, the dealership that held Lowry’s first one-man show in London and continued to represent the artist until his death. Prices range from £8000 to £20,000.  [Lot 102-106]

 Peter Lanyon, British 1918-1964- Landscape with Houses, Italy, 1944; watercolour with traces of pencil
Peter Lanyon, British 1918-1964- Landscape with Houses, Italy, 1944; watercolour with traces of pencil

A watercolour of an Italian landscape by the St Ives artist Peter Lanyon (1918-1964), painted during the Second World War while he was serving as a flight mechanic with the Royal Air Force, carries hopes of £1,800-2,400. Lanyon was 25 when he first went to Italy in December 1943. He stayed for two years, in which time he learned Italian and travelled the southern provinces, drawing, painting and taking photographs. Italian landscape with houses has passed by descent from a private collection in St Ives. [Lot 76]

 Frank Auerbach, British b.1931- Primrose Hill (study),1960; pencil and oil paint on brown paper
Frank Auerbach, British b.1931- Primrose Hill (study),1960; pencil and oil paint on brown paper

Primrose Hill, the small park in north London whose paths culminate at a high point with a fine view over the city, has been the local green spot for German-British painter Frank Auerbach (b.1931) since the 1950s when he moved to his nearby studio in Camden. A 1960 study of the park in pencil and oil paint is on offer at £2,500-3,500. It has auction pedigree and was featured in Sotheby’s £2.7m auction of art from David Sylvester, Britain's greatest post-war critic and curator of modern art. [Lot 91]

 Francis Davison, British 1919-1984- Fields and Enclosures; collage on Essex board
Francis Davison, British 1919-1984- Fields and Enclosures; collage on Essex board

A collage by Francis Davison (1919-1984), included in a major retrospective exhibition of the abstract artist’s work at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, is estimated at £2,000-3,000. A Cambridge graduate, Davison began as a poet but turned to painting in the late 1940s after Patrick Heron, a friend from school days, invited him to St Ives. He made coloured paper collages for the last 32 years of his life. [Lot 155]

 

PAINTINGS

Richard Smith CBE, British 1931-2016- Noplace; oil on board in two parts
Richard Smith CBE, British 1931-2016- Noplace; oil on board in two parts

Two early works by Richard Smith (1931-2016) have come to Roseberys by descent from the architect Margaret Dent. The pair are estimated at £4,000-6,000 each. Both canvases, which were later split by the artist, were exhibited in a show on Abstract Impressionism in 1958. The show was organised by Lawrence Alloway and Harold Cohen with the goal of bringing together artists from England, France and the United States whose work represented both abstraction and a painterly interest in colour, touch, light and space. The following year, Smith received the Harkness Fellowship to travel to New York where he explored elements of both Abstract Expressionism and Pop art in his own work. [Lot 161-162]

 Dominic Shepherd, British b. 1966- All Fall Down; oil on canvas
Dominic Shepherd, British b. 1966- All Fall Down; oil on canvas

Like William Blake before him, contemporary artist Dominic Shepherd (b.1966) draws on folklore and the nostalgia of the pastoral landscape to create his trademark hallucinatory canvases. All Fall Down, a large-scale canvas from 2007, is estimated in the sale at £3,000-5,000. [Lot 393]

 Dod Procter RA, British 1891-1972- The Party Frock; oil on canvas
Dod Procter RA, British 1891-1972- The Party Frock; oil on canvas

Bids are expected in the region of £2,500-3,500 for a signature late portrait by the London-born artist Dod Procter (1891-1972). The Party Frock was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1949, seven years after she became only the second woman to be made a Royal Academician. Two figure studies feature on the verso. [Lot 23]

Roger Fry, British 1866-1934- St Francis giving his cloak to a destitute nobleman, after Giotto; oil on canvas,
Roger Fry, British 1866-1934- St Francis giving his cloak to a destitute nobleman, after Giotto; oil on canvas

A Modern British interpretation of a famous Old Master is offered at £800-1,200. The copy, painted by Roger Fry (1866-1934), is after a fresco of St Francis of Assisi by the great Italian master Giotto. It was made for ‘Copies and Translations of Old Masters’, an exhibition in 1917 held at the Omega Workshops, the design enterprise founded by members of the Bloomsbury Group. Fry organised the exhibition to encourage young artists not to make perfect copies of the originals, but rather to learn new things while making a loose copy or study of an Old Master painting. Fry chose to copy Giotto. He later hung some of these copies in among his collection of paintings in his home at 48 Bernard Street in London. [Lot 31]

 Roger Fry, British 1866-1934- St Francis giving his cloak to a destitute nobleman, after Giotto; oil on canvas
Roger Fry, British 1866-1934- St Francis giving his cloak to a destitute nobleman, after Giotto; oil on canvas

A widely exhibited oil painting of mackerel by the Camden Town Group painter Walter Sickert (1860-1942) carries hopes of £6,000-8,000. The signed still life was painted in Dieppe at the turn of the 20th century, before Sickert left for Venice in 1903. The artist became involved with Madame Villain, a divorced fishwife in Dieppe, who acted as both landlady and mistress to the artist. It was presumably from Villain that Sickert obtained the fish for this, and other still-life paintings of the period. [Lot 2]

 Donald McIntyre RCA, British 1923-2009- The Wave, Porth Cwyfan; oil on canvas laid on board
Donald McIntyre RCA, British 1923-2009- The Wave, Porth Cwyfan; oil on canvas laid on board

The Wave, Porth Cwyfan, a painterly depiction of a stormy sea off the Welsh coast by Donald McIntyre (1923-2009), carries hopes of £4,000-6,000.  McIntyre, who trained as a dentist and took art classes in the evenings at the Glasgow School of Art, only decided to become a full-time artist at age 40 after he moved to North Wales. [Lot 145]

 

SCULPTURE

 Michael Ayrton, British 1921-1975- Icarus Transformed I, 1961; bronze
Michael Ayrton, British 1921-1975- Icarus Transformed I, 1961; bronze

Among Michael Ayrton’s (1921-75) chief inspirations was the myth of the ancient Greek craftsman Daedalus, who famously fashioned wings for his son Icarus. ‘At the apex of his climb, because mass is modified by its velocity, Icarus changed his form and the anatomy of this transformation obsesses me’, wrote Ayrton in 1961. Icarus Transformed I, a twisted figural form in bronze from this period, is estimated at £3,000-5,000. [Lot 188]

 Geoffrey Harris, British 1928-2019- Four sculptures; two Portland stone and two slate
Geoffrey Harris, British 1928-2019- Four sculptures; two Portland stone and two slate

 

The sale contains a 12-lot collection of sculpture and archival material from the studio of the late sculptor Geoffrey Harris (1928-2019), who worked as a studio assistant for Henry Moore. Harris was born in Nottingham in 1928 and studied at Leeds College of Art and the Royal College of Art. He worked as an assistant for Leon Underwood, David John, and William Bloye and lectured at several art colleges including Birmingham, Stourbridge, Bromley, and Ravensbourne. However, he is perhaps best known for, and his work most influenced by, his period working as a studio assistant for Moore from 1957-1960. Harris had solo exhibitions at the Leicester Galleries and the Queen's Square Gallery in 1964. The collection comprises a series of Portland stone sculptures from the 1960s and 70s, a handful of bronze maquettes and a significant collection of photographic prints and negatives of the artist's works. Prices range from £200 to £1,000. [Lot 169-180]

Modern & Contemporary British Art
Tuesday 11 February, 11 am 

Viewing times 
Friday 7 February 9:30am-5:30pm
Sunday 9 February 10am-2pm
Monday 10 February 9:30am-5:30pm
Tuesday 11 February 9:30am-10:30am

 For further information please contact Peigi Mackillop peigimackillop@roseberys.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8761 2522

 

 

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