• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5389

    20th Century British Art

    16 July 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 65

    Graham Sutherland, O.M. (1903-1980)

    Ideas and Studies for Open Hearth Furnace

    Price Realised  


    Graham Sutherland, O.M. (1903-1980)
    Ideas and Studies for Open Hearth Furnace
    inscribed 'Ideas and Studies/for Open Hearth Furnace/Subject' (on the reverse)
    black ink, watercolour, pastel and bodycolour
    11½ x 9½ in. (26.7 x 24.1 cm.)

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    In the Autumn of 1941, Sutherland was sent by the War Artists' Advisory Committee to record steel and ammunition works in Cardiff. Malcolm Yorke comments on Sutherland's series of steelworks, 'Now all his sunset colours could be deployed again in the flow of molton iron, flames belching from furnace doors, glowing crusts of slag and the plop and seeth of boiling metal' (see M. Yorke, Nine Neo-Romantic Artists and Their Times, London, 1988, pp. 125-126).

    Sutherland comments on his furnace work of this period: 'The conception of the idea of stress, both physical and mental, and how forms can be modified by emotion had been, even before the war, much in my mind ... As the hand feeds the mouth so did the long scoops which plunged into the furnace openings feed them, and the metal containers pouring molten iron into ladles had great encrusted mouths' (The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, 10 September 1971, quoted in exhibition catalogue, Graham Sutherland, Landscapes, War Scenes, Portraits, 1924-1950, London, Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2005, p. 105).

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    Uppingham, Goldmark Gallery, Graham Sutherland Wartime Paintings, December 2002, no. 8, as 'Mouth of Hot Metal Container'.