• 20th Century British Art auction at Christies

    Sale 5886

    20th Century British Art

    16 December 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 134

    John Wells (1907-2000)


    Price Realised  


    John Wells (1907-2000)
    signed and dated 'John Wells/1963' (on the backboard)
    oil on board
    21½ x 47½ in. (54.6 x 120.7 cm.)

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    Wells had his first solo exhibition in London at Waddington Galleries in 1960. Following the success of the show, Waddington Galleries included Wells in a group exhibition in 1962 and gave him another one-person show in 1964. The present work is typical of the paintings included in this exhibition. At this time, Wells became less attracted to reflecting landscape in his work and he returned to a strict interest in geometrical, mathematical structures comprising flatly coloured rectangles with subtle colour harmonies. Wells described these works to Ben Nicholson as 'rectangular "hard edge" things ... Pop Art leaves me cold. Although I often get led astray, I always want to return to the more formal, constructional or structurist type of work' (see Exhibition Catalogue, John Wells, The Fragile Cell, Tate St Ives, 1998, p. 59).

    See also lot 141.

    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 mother.