• 20th Century British Art auction at Christies

    Sale 5529

    20th Century British Art

    31 March 2010, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 146

    Eric Gadsby (b. 1943)

    Rise and Fall

    Price Realised  


    Eric Gadsby (b. 1943)
    Rise and Fall
    signed and inscribed 'ERIC GADSBY RISE AND FALL' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas, unframed
    48 x 60 in. (121.9 x 152.4 cm.)
    Painted in 1966.

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    'Rise and Fall is based on green, blue and pink ... The colours blend into one another without visible transitions; the paint surface is thin, impersonal, meticulously worked over ... The result is that you read these paintings, not as solid forms, but as metaphors of light energy. They generate a strong illusion of warped space and the speed with which one's eye travels over the canvas, around the coils of the spectrum band, encountering different resistances from different colours, is important to the illusion' (B. Robertson, Exhibition catalogue, The New Generation, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1966, p. 70).

    Gadsby comments on his work:

    'The images and shapes in my paintings have no conscious organic foundation; they primarily operate as a frame in which colour can be manipulated and unfurled into a system of activity' (ibid., p. 74).

    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.


    The Peter Stuyvesant Foundation, London.

    Pre-Lot Text

    The following group of works (lots 146-150) were painted in the mid 1960s during a period of artistic fervour in London. The Whitechapel, with Bryan Robertson as director, had followed a succession of shows not only devoted to neglected figures from British Art, but also the leading European artists and American Abstract Expressionists, many of whom had their first major European showings at the Whitechapel Gallery.
    The Whitechapel Gallery very quickly became one of Britain's most important contemporary galleries and received critical attention from international collectors. In 1964 the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation sponsored the first of four New Generation exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery. In the introduction to the first exhibition, Robertson stated the aim of the exhibitions was 'to spotlight a wide range of talent which had begun to make its presence felt at that time ... British art in particular has suddenly woken out of a long provincial doze, is seriously entering international lists and winning prestige for itself' (Introduction to Exhibition catalogue, The New Generation, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1964).

    Robertson commented: 'The Foundation is creating a unique collection of recent English art at its most radical, without waiting for the green signal of an established reputation' (Introduction to Exhibition catalogue, The New Generation, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1966, p. 7).


    Exhibition catalogue, The New Generation, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1966, p. 71, no. 29, (illustrated).


    London, Whitechapel Gallery, The New Generation, June - July 1966, no. 29.