• Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 11 March 2022

Modern British and Irish Art Day Sale Live for Browsing

• Works from artists currently included in internationally acclaimed exhibitions, including Prunella Clough, Elisabeth Frink, William Turnbull and Aubrey Williams, will highlight the sale

• A painting by Ivon Hitchens is being offered to provide bursaries from the John Badley Foundation for students to attend Bedales school

• A strong offering of works by artists of the St. Ives School, include Sir Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Dame Barbara Hepworth, Peter Lanyon and Ben Nicholson

Laurence Stephen Lowry, Children in the Street (1966, estimate: £100,000–150,000) and William Turnbull, Sculpture (1956, estimate: £100,000–150,000)

LONDON – Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art Day Sale, taking place on 23 March 2022 is highlighted by William Turnbull’s Sculpture (1956, estimate: £100,000–150,000, illustrated above right). Another example from this edition is currently featured in the Postwar Modern New Art in Britain 1945-1965 exhibition at the Barbican in London along with work by Prunella Clough, whose painting Fishermen with Sprat Nets II (1949, estimate: 30,000–50,000) is included in the online sale. Coming to auction for the first time in more than 70 years, the work depicting fishermen and dockers, has been in the same private collection since 1949 and a related work is in the collection of Pembroke College, Oxford. Also included in the Postwar Modern New Art in Britain 1945-1965 exhibition at the Barbican, Aubrey Williams’ work is currently exhibited in the Life Between Islands Caribbean-British Art 1950s – Now at the Tate Britain in London, and Williams’ painting Orinoco I (1964, estimate: £3,000–5,000) is also included in the Modern British and Irish Art Day Sale.  

Ivon Hitchens’ Foundations of Ruined Mill near Droxford (1958-59, estimate: £40,000–60,000), is the property of Bedales School. Proceeds from its sale will go to the John Badley Foundation, which works to provide bursaries for students from challenging home and educational situations in the UK and abroad to attend Bedales School.

Early British Pop art is represented by two David Hockney works on paper from 1961 - King and 3 Queens (1961, estimate: £40,000-60,000) and The Most Beautiful Woman in the World (1961, estimate: £20,000-30,000). Sir Eduardo Paolozzi’s What a Treat for a Nickel (1950, estimate: £15,000–25,000) and Allen Jones’s The Something Sisters (1962, estimate: £8,000–12,000) is a preliminary sketch for an oil of the same name, also painted in 1962, now in the collection of the Kunsthalle Museum, Hamburg.

As part of the sale, there are two works by the Australian artist, Brett Whiteley, who left Australia in 1960 for Europe and quickly established himself in London. In 1961, he became the youngest contemporary artist to have their work bought by the Tate, when they purchased his Untitled Red Painting, 1960. He was a close friend of Francis Bacon’s and was greatly influenced by him. Whiteley’s Sketch for Large Monkey Drawing (1964, estimate: £30,000–50,000) was at one time in the collection of the artist Kenneth Armitage.

There is a strong offering of works from the St. Ives School, including Dame Barbara Hepworth’s Mother and Child (1972, estimate: £50,000–80,000). She carved several Mother and Child sculptures in 1934 when she was pregnant and unaware she was carrying triplets. These works were initially conceived in stone and then later in bronze. Ben Nicholson’s Feb 13 - 52 (salmon + grey) (1952, estimate: £100,000–200,000), Patrick Heron’s Sydney : 18 December : 1989 (1989, estimate: £18,000–25,000) a vibrantly colourful celebration of Sydney Harbour in Australia, Sir Terry Frost’s Fields (c.1955, estimate: £40,000-60,000) and Peter Lanyon’s Near Cloud, May (1963, estimate: £7,000–10,000) complete the group. Lanyon started gliding in 1959 and by the time he painted Near Cloud, May in 1963, he was frequently flying alone over the land and seascapes of West Cornwall which influenced this work and his practice in general at the time.

A further highlight, David Hockney’s Study for Chelsea Arts Ball (1992, estimate: £25,000–35,000) was acquired by the consignor at a Kensington & Chelsea Arts Council Charity event, as the lucky winner of a raffle prize.

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