PRESS RELEASE: Christie's Modern British & Irish Art evening sale on 23 November led by Henry Moore's Working Model for Reclining Mother and Child
London – The Modern British & Irish Art Evening Sale will take place on 23 November 2016. The sale, consisting of 39 lots, will be led by Henry Moore’s Working Model for Reclining Mother and Child (1975, estimate: £1,300,000-1,800,000), the second model the artist made in preparation for his large-scale sculpture Reclining Mother and Child (1975-76); examples of which can be found in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London and the Ohara Museum of Art in Kurashiki, Japan. Further highlights include Samuel John Peploe’s classic still-life from the 1920s Red and pink roses, oranges and fan (circa 1925, estimate: £600,000-1,000,000), part of a significant group of works by the Scottish Colourists, and John Minton’s painting Jamaican Village (1951, estimate: £100,000-150,000), which was last seen publicly when it was exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, in 1951. Gifted by the artist to Professor John Norris Wood, a distinguished natural history illustrator who taught at the Royal College of Art, it has passed on by descent but has remained unseen in the family home. Ben Nicholson’s April 1957 (Arbia 2) (1957, estimate: £600,000-800,000), one of the last in an important series of large and symphonic still-life paintings that he created in the latter half of the 1950s is also a centrepiece. Additional groupings include five paintings depicting coastal life during the interwar years of the 1930s by Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Edward Burra and Edward Wadsworth, a wartime series by Sir Claude Francis Barry, together with Post-War artists such as Frank Auerbach, Lynn Chadwick, John Hoyland, Bridget Riley and Sean Scully. The Leslie Waddington Collection Part II Sale will take place on 22 November, ahead of the Evening Sale, while the Modern British & Irish Art Day Sale will follow on 24 November, featuring 93 lots with estimates ranging from £7,000 to £150,000, providing opportunity for buyers across every level.
André Zlattinger, Senior Director, Head of Modern British Art, Christie’s London and Rachel Hidderley, International Specialist and Director, Modern British Art: “The November series of Modern British & Irish auctions offer further works from the esteemed collection of Leslie Waddington as well as exceptional masterpieces in our Evening Sale by Henry Moore whose ‘Working Model for Reclining Mother and Child’ combines two of his most celebrated motifs in a single sculpture – the reclining figure and the representation of the intense bond between mother and child. From earlier in the century, the elegance of the paintings of the Scottish Colourists is here exemplified by Peploe’s ‘Red and pink roses, oranges and fan’ with its rare jewel-like palette. It is also a privilege to offer John Minton’s ‘Jamaican Village’ which has not been displayed since its first presentation at the Royal Academy of Arts 65 years ago. Additionally we are offering a group of paintings from the interwar years by revered artists such as Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden as well as two major Ben Nicholson works that show the breadth of his oeuvre. This diverse selection is further complemented by works from Contemporary artists Sean Scully, Bridget Riley and Frank Auerbach who represent the pinnacle of artists working in Britain and Ireland in the 21st century.”
The demand for British sculpture continues to grow and two further works by Henry Moore will be offered alongside Working Model for Reclining Mother and Child. Conceived in 1950, Helmet Head No. 2 (estimate: £200,000-300,000) is among Henry Moore’s most dynamic sculptural explorations of the abstraction of the human figure, forming part of a series of works focusing on forms that are at once evocative of a head encased in the protective confines of a helmet, and suggestive of an otherworldly, mechanical form. Mother and Child (1953, estimate: £250,000-350,000), from the same collection in Canada, completes the grouping.
Red and pink roses, oranges and fan (circa 1925, estimate: £600,000-1,000,000) is one of the finest and most elegant examples of Samuel John Peploe’s exhaustive exploration of the still-life subject. Painted in the early 1920s, this painting displays the quintessential characteristics of Peploe’s carefully considered and meticulous approach to the genre. The still-life was a subject that dominated Peploe’s oeuvre and Roses in a vase against an orange background will also be offered alongside Summer Gaeity by Anne Redpath (circa 1947, estimate: £100,000-150,000), The Avenue, Auchnacraig (circa 1927, estimate: £70,000-100,000), The White Villa – Cassis (1923-24, estimate: £150,000-250,000) and Still Life with Lacquer Screen (circa 1920s, estimate: £200,000-300,000) all by Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell and formerly in the collection of G.W. Service, and Tulips in a blue vase by George Leslie Hunter (estimate: £150,000-250,000).
Opportunities to travel brought John Minton a fresh repertoire of subjects and enriched his palette. This is especially true of his extended visit to Jamaica in 1950. In both its landscape and villages he found a set of sharp colours – acid lemon yellows, magentas and viridians – that reminded him of coloured inks. After exhibiting Jamaican Village (1951, estimate: £100,000-150,000) at the Royal Academy in 1951, Minton gave the painting to his friend, the natural history illustrator, Professor John Norris Wood, who made one attempt to sell the painting in order to fund a nature reserve. He placed an advertisement in The Times and the first applicant to respond was Brian Sewell, then a private dealer. Sewell referred to Jamaican Village as ‘splendid’ and said he would ‘very much like to have it’ but they could not agree a price. There were other respondents, but no sale was forthcoming and the picture never left Wood’s possession. The fact that Minton decided to send this large oil of a Jamaican scene to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, where it was accepted and exhibited, indicates that he regarded it as a highly significant work. And with hindsight, it is possible to view it as a bid to reaffirm his status in 1951 as one of the most notable artists of the day.
Painted in 1957, Ben Nicholson’s April 57 (Arbia 2) (estimate: £600,000-800,000, illustrated right) is part of an important series that includes landmark works such as 1956 (boutique fantastique) (Private Collection), the award-winning August 1956 (Val d’Orcia), which now resides in the Tate Gallery, London and 1956, November (Pistoia) (Private Collection). The present example sees Nicholson reach the pinnacle of his mature style, effortlessly blending nature with abstraction. His life in Switzerland had a profound effect on his artistic output in the 1960s, with a move from painting still-lifes to carving layered blocks and carefully segmented relief compositions. He painted 69 (Holkham Sands no. 2) (1969, estimate: £80,000-120,000) after a trip to Norfolk in 1969, immediately adopting a greater clarity and simplicity, which was to infuse his work over the next few years.
Sir Claude Francis Barry
Most famed for his wartime searchlight pictures, Jersey-resident Sir Claude Francis Barry created a remarkably varied body of work, which although differing in style and theme over the years, always remained imbued with an individual poetic vision. He was a proficient etcher, having trained under Sir Frank Brangwyn, which encouraged a unique tonality and emphasis on composition and structure in his paintings. His most celebrated works are those he painted during the First and Second World Wars, with his depictions of the air strikes and nocturnal celebrations over London being some of his most powerful compositions. This is seen to remarkable effect in V.E. Day, London (1945, estimate: £120,000-180,000), Moscow Victorious, May 1945 (1945, estimate: £120,000-180,000) and most particularly Houses of Parliament - a wartime Nocturne (1941, estimate: £80,000-120,000), where Barry captures the dramatic view of the searchlights over the river Thames, as they radiate out into the night sky. Formerly in the artist’s estate, this sale represents a unique opportunity to appreciate and acquire work by this rare artist.
The Interwar Years
Five paintings from the 1930s illustrate life in coastal Britain during the years between the First and Second World Wars. These include Aldeburgh Bathing Machines (1938, estimate: £150,000-250,000) and Buoys and Grappling Hook (1933, estimate: £100,000-150,000) by Eric Ravilious, September: 7pm (Newhaven) (1937, estimate: £40,000-60,000) by Edward Bawden, Imaginary Harbour (1934, estimate: £80,000-120,000) by Edward Wadsworth and Tea-Leaves Overboard (1932, estimate: £500,000-800,000) by Edward Burra. The works by Ravilious, Bawden and Wadsworth were collected during the 1930s and have remained in the same collection ever since. The Burra was formerly in the collection of the solicitor, Wilfred Evill, who bequeathed his unparalleled collection to his ward, Honor Frost.
A strong group of work by Post-War artists include Head of J.Y.M. by Frank Auerbach (1970, estimate: £250,000-350,000), Lynn Chadwick’s Cloaked Figure IX (1978, estimate: £500,000-800,000), 20.5.74 (1974, estimate: £50,000-70,000) and 15.2.69 (1969, estimate: £60,000-80,000) by John Hoyland, Red Return (2011, estimate: £400,000-600,000) by Bridget Riley and Small Horizontal Robe by Sean Scully (2003, estimate: £300,000-500,000).
The Leslie Waddington Collection Part II, 22 November 2016
Following the success of the Frieze Week auction of Leslie Waddington’s personal collection, which sold 100% by lot and 100% by value, the second sale will feature 90 lots by 41 artists. Clasped Hand (1973, estimate: £10,000-15,000) by Patrick Caulfield was purchased directly from the artist and is presented alongside Sir Michael Craig-Martin’s monumental painting Untitled (2000, estimate: £25,000-35,000), which spans over three metres in width and is a prime example of his distinctive pictorial language. Unlike many of his paintings, which juxtapose everyday household items, the present work is rooted in Craig-Martin’s typology of art and design objects. Sculptural highlights include Writing Piece "Blue Moon" (1991-92, estimate: £20,000-30,000) by Sir Anthony Caro, part of a series where Caro abandoned the plinth to encourage an intimate relationship between the work and the spectator. The auction will also offer iconic design objects such as Le Corbusier’s pair of ‘unite d’habitation’ stools, (circa 1955, estimate: £7,000-10,000) and a reception table, originally designed in 1926 by Josef Albers (estimate: £3,000-5,000).
Modern British & Irish Art Day Sale, 24 November 2016
The Modern British & Irish Art Day Sale will be led by Edward Burra’s Construction (1950, estimate: £100,000-150,000), a painting charged with a menace that is combined with touches of humour to create a hybrid scenario somewhere between dream and nightmare. Further highlights include a design for the third magazine that Percy Wydham Lewis edited, the cover of The Enemy No. 3 (circa 1927-29, estimate: £10,000-15,000), Irish Women by Robert Colquhoun (1947, estimate: £40,000-60,000) and Gwen John’s Portrait of Dorelia (circa 1903-04, estimate: £30,000-50,000), an image of a close friend of the artist, which was executed tenderly in pencil and ink as the two travelled in France together.