• Post-War and Contemporary Art auction at Christies

    Sale 5537

    Post-War and Contemporary Art

    25 March 2010, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 51

    RITA DONAGH (B. 1939)

    First Perspective Drawing for Reflection on 3 Weeks in May 1970

    Price Realised  


    RITA DONAGH (B. 1939)
    First Perspective Drawing for Reflection on 3 Weeks in May 1970
    signed and dated 'Rita Donagh Feb 1971' (lower right)
    graphite, gouache and photograph on graph paper
    22 x 30in. (56 x 76cm.)
    Executed in 1971

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    In May 1970, four students were killed in a shocking crackdown by the National Guard at Kent State University, Ohio. The Kent State violence is part of the story told by Donagh's painting Reflection on 3 Weeks in May 1970 (1971, Tate Collection). The present work is the First Perspective drawing and is a response to studio activity which Donagh undertook with a group of students at Reading University. Donagh challenged the fundamental questions concerning the nature of art, especially to challenge ideas of works of art as self-contained gestures, and the role of the artist within broader cultural contexts.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    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.


    Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London.
    Norbert Lynton Collection, Brighton.
    Private Collection, London.


    London, Nigel Greenwood, Rita Donagh, October-November 1972, no. 4.
    Baden-Baden, Staatliche Kunsthalle, British Council Exhibition, 11 englische Zeichner, May-June 1973, cat no. RD10.
    Manchester, Whitworth Gallery, Rita Donagh Paintings & Drawings, February-April 1977, no. 15: this exhibition travelled to Wolverhampton, Central Art Gallery, April-May 1977; Belfast, Arts Council of Northern Ireland Gallery, May-June 1977; Nottingham, Midland Group Gallery, July-August 1977; and Oxford, Museum of Modern Art, September-October 1977.
    Birmingham, Ikon Gallery, Rita Donagh, September-November 2005, not numbered.