RELEASE: The Tony Reichardt Collection - Modern British Art, July 2013

Christie’s is honoured to offer the collection of Tony Reichardt, one of the most pioneering British art dealers of the 20th century, across three sales in July 2013.


Christie’s is honoured to offer the collection of Tony Reichardt, one of the most pioneering British art dealers of the 20th century, across three sales in July 2013. 6 works will be offered in the Modern British Art Evening Sale on 10 July 2013 and 22 works in the Modern British and Irish Art Day Sale on 11 July 2013. A further 24 works will be included in the Modern British and Irish Art sale at Christie’s South Kensington on 11 July 2013. A name synonymous with British artists of the 20th century, Tony Reichardt’s collection features works by R.B. Kitaj, R.A. (1932-2007), Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, R.A. (1924-2005), Victor Pasmore, R.A. (1908-1998) and Lynn Chadwick, R.A. (1914-2003).

André Zlattinger, Senior Director, Head of Modern British Art, Christie’s London and Rachel Hidderley, Christie’s International Specialist and Director, Modern British Art: Tony Reichardt has had a long and successful career as one of the pioneering art dealers of the second half of the 20th century. In 1958 he joined New Vision Gallery, Marble Arch, and after a period spent at Hanover Gallery in Mayfair, he joined Marlborough as a manager of the New London Gallery in 1961. In 1963 Tony opened Marlborough Graphics and in the 1970s he became Director of Marlborough Fine Art. Through the numerous exhibitions that Tony curated, he developed close relationships with many of the artists and the majority of the works in this collection were personal gifts. In 1985 he left the art world to begin a new life farming in Northern Queensland, where he currently lives.”

Tony Reichardt: “The 1960s at The Marlborough Gallery was an exciting time and it is only now when I look back I realise how extraordinary it was that people who would become stellar in their fields would wander in and buy stuff. The Beatles established ‘Apple & Co’ round the corner and John Lennon would come by. I gave him an ‘Apple in a Cage’, which seemed apt. I was at the exhibition of her work where he met Yoko Ono. Richard Attenborough was making 10 Rillington Place and buying up all the Brett Whiteley paintings on the John Christie murders. Lord Gowrie, Minister for the Arts, would discuss new acquisitions for official buildings while John Piper, with whom I had a lifelong friendship, became one of the favourites of the Royal family. After a year I was left to my own devices. I could take on any artists I liked and take control of the living artists that Marlborough dealt with at that time – Bacon, Piper and Sutherland. The first artist I took on was R.B. Kitaj”.

Eva Chadwick on Tony: “Tony Reichardt championed the British artists who were working in the fifties, sixties and seventies making their reputations but not promoted for the first-rate work they produced. My late husband Lynn Chadwick was one of Tony’s favourites along with Kitaj, Tilson, Jones, and Davies. He insisted that the gallery gave shows to them and when customers asked for his opinion he always recommended his ‘boysʼ(though some of them were in their late fifties and sixties). Tony was tireless in his efforts to further their cause.”

Highlights offered in the Modern British Art Evening Sale

Niigata-Turkoma, a unique full-scale wood model for the resin relief by Eduardo Paolozzi, was commissioned in 1975 by Henry Wiggin Co. Ltd as the major feature for the VIP dining and conference room of their Holmer Road headquarters in Hereford (estimate: £150,000 – 250,000). The title is a reference to the Turkish immigrant community of West Berlin; much of the works Paolozzi created at this time reflect and evoke the contrasting language, sounds and music of Turkish culture, which he experienced during his residence in Berlin, and which after Paris where he lived in the late 1940s, he always spoke of this being the most creative and productive period of his career.

R.B. Kitaj was the first artist that Tony Reichardt took on at the Marlborough Gallery and the collection features a number of works by the artist including Cracks and Reforms and Bursts in the Violet Air (estimate: £50,000 – 80,000) and Head of Francis Bacon (estimate: £20,000 – 30,000). Kitaj had joined Marlborough Fine Art, shortly after his graduation, and he held his first solo show there in 1963. It was through the gallery that he got to know Francis Bacon, whose work he greatly admired but whose formidable presence and sharp tongue even Kitaj had reason to find daunting.

The abstract works of Victor Pasmore feature strongly in Tony Reichardt’s collection; Pasmore’s Linear Composition of 1967 shows the influence of his work as a landscape designer on his abstract compositions (estimate: £60,000 – 80,000). The subtle gravure counterbalances the strong black oil, the large formica square and smaller offset wooden panel are finely counterpoised, all boxed in with the integrated internal elements of the frame making the work a completely homogenous object.

Highlights offered in the Modern British and Irish Art Day Sale

The Modern British and Irish Art Day Sale will offer paintings, drawings and sculpture from The Tony Reichardt Collection including further works by R.B. Kitaj. Highlights include A Small Defeat  which shows the fascination with what he termed ‘heroic failure’, particularly in history and politics, that came to the fore early in his career in the 1960s (estimate: £10,000 – 15,000). The trio of male figures portrayed in this small but decoratively opulent painting carry an aura of mission in the way they present themselves to the viewer’s scrutiny.

Tony Reichardt worked closely with Lynn Chadwick and his collection features a number of sculptures and sketches including Maquette V Two Winged Figures (estimate: £40,000 – 60,000).

Abstract in White, Black and Maroon, by Victor Pasmore, was constructed in 1956 and was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1960 (estimate: £20,000 – 30,000). This projected relief illustrates Pasmore’s belief that purely abstract artists will be frustrated in the urge for complete development if they limit themselves to the medium of painting. He believed that for full development an artist should move into the three-dimensional mediums of sculpture or architectural form. For Pasmore surface painting is the beginning, rather than the end, of abstract art.

Highlights offered in the Modern British and Irish Art Sale

Highlights of the 24 lots from The Tony Reichardt Collection to be offered in the South Kensington sale include Head on a Stick by John Davies (b. 1946) (estimate: £4,000 – 6,000).

Further highlights include an ink, wash and watercolour by Lynn Chadwick: Figures sitting on a block (estimate: £800 – 1,200).



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