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    Sale 12303

    Modern British & Irish Art

    17 March 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 6

    Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956)

    Joan Crawford

    Price Realised  


    Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956)
    Joan Crawford
    signed and dated twice '33/AO Spare' (lower left and lower right)
    pencil and watercolour
    12 ½ x 7 ½ in. (31.8 x 19 cm.)

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    Spare produced an extraordinary body of realist portraits as well as glamorous portrayals of Hollywood stars, which he painted from existing photographs to create his unusually stylised compositions. The artist referred to these as ‘sidereal’ portraits. The term was used to denote Spare’s unique style, a play on the literal meaning of the term ‘of the stars’, and ‘real from the side.’ The present lot portrays Joan Crawford, an American film and television star, one of the greatest female stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema. Spare considered film stars as modern Pagan gods, and through his 'sidereal' adaptations he sought to capture their real existence in a spatial, possibly ‘fourth dimension’.

    Special Notice

    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


    John Balance, from whom purchased by the present owner in December 2002.


    P. Baker, Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist, London, 2012, p. 204, illustrated.


    London, Rupert Maas Gallery, Austin Osman Spare, November 2005.