• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12036

    Christie's Interiors

    18 May 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 406

    Desmond Morris (Purton b. 1928)

    Blind watchmaker

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Desmond Morris (Purton b. 1928)
    Blind watchmaker
    signed with a monogram and dated '86' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    29 ¾ x 24 ¼ in. (75.5 x 61.5 cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Completed in January 1986, The Blind Watchmaker is one of the finest works of the period. It highlights Desmond Morris’ propensity to Surrealism in the dream-like composition depicting a variety of forms from the biomorphic world. The painting is inspired by a book title by Richard Dawkins and had subsequently been used as a book cover. The strong composition inspired a London bookshop to arrange a window display which recreated the painting with three-dimensional models. The Blindwatchers embodies the artist’s highly imaginative and individual style. It has been argued that this is a painting which comments on the nature of painting. Morris notes ‘The main figure is placed in the role of creator of biomorphs.’ (See S. Levy, Desmond Morris: Analytical Catalogue Raisonné 1944-2000, Antwerp, 2001, p. 312).

    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.


    Literature

    R. Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, Harlow, 1986, dust-jacket cover.
    P. Oakes, The Secret Surrealist, Oxford, 1987, pp. 94,111, pl. 110, illustrated.
    M. Remy, The Surrealist World of Desmond Morris, London, 1991, pp. 172, 206, illustrated.
    S. Levy, Desmond Morris: 50 Years of Surrealism, London, 1997, pp. 164-165, illustrated.
    S. Levy, Desmond Morris: Analytical Catalogue Raisonné 1944-2000, Antwerp, 2001, p.313, no. 35.
    S. Levy, Desmond Morris: Naked Surrealism, 1999, p.165, illustrated.


    Exhibited

    Swansea, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, 1986, no. 108.
    Bath, Victoria Art Gallery, 1986, no. 108.
    Newcastle upon Tyne, 1987, no. 108.
    Llandudno, Mostyn Art Gallery, 1987, no. 108.
    London, Mayor Gallery, 1987, no. 47.