• 20th Century British Art auction at Christies

    Sale 5886

    20th Century British Art

    16 December 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 90

    Conroy Maddox (1912-2005)

    Natural Attraction

    Price Realised  


    Conroy Maddox (1912-2005)
    Natural Attraction
    signed and dated 'Conroy Maddox 43' (lower right)
    10 x 14¼ in. (25.4 x 36.2 cm.)

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    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Purchased directly from the artist by the present owner's nephew.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the correct title for this work is: Mutual Attraction. Please note the work is also inscribed and dated `mutual attraction/gouache 43 (on the reverse)

    Pre-Lot Text

    The Second World War was a telling time for the surrealist movement in Britain. Mesens had closed the London Gallery by the end of July 1939 and had stopped publishing London Bulletin after the June 1940 issue. Penrose joined the Home Guard and spent his time designing camouflage. In Birmingham, however, Conroy Maddox kept the surrealist flag flying throughout the war and stepped up his artistic production. Turning to figuration for the first time, he executed several works that record the devastation of the bombing. However, in defiance of everyday tragedy, he continued to produce brightly-coloured lyrical works that celebrated innocence and playfulness. Even in the depths of the War, his work was full of comical, childlike creatures enacting mysterious rituals.