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FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924-2002)
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ANNE AND EDWIN MULLINS
FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924-2002)

Untitled (Seated Man)

Details
FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924-2002)
Untitled (Seated Man)
signed and dated 'Souza 58' (upper right)
colored pencil on paper
9 7/8 x 7 7/8 in. (25.2 x 20.2 cm.)
Executed in 1958
Provenance
Gift of the artist to the present owners
Literature
E. Mullins, Souza, London, 1962, p. 22 (illustrated)

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Lot Essay

These drawings take me back more than 50 years, to an afternoon I spent in North London in Souza's studio, going through portfolio after portfolio selecting drawings for the book I had been commissioned to write on his work. It was an afternoon I shall always remember, surrounded by what amounted to Francis's entire graphic output to date. What most concerned me that day was to pick out drawings which demonstrated his gifts at their most rich and varied: his sharp powers of observation, his sensuousness, his wit and quirky humour, and his extraordinary ability to pick out a very ordinary image (a tree, a building, a fish) and make it look iconic, something you'd never seen before.

Only great draughtsmen possess such a gift; but then drawing, for Francis, was the core of his art and the focus of his vision of the world. He drew constantly wherever he happened to be, just as other people must always have a camera in their pocket, or writers a notebook. To Francis his drawings were more than just jottings or preparatory sketches. They mattered in themselves: they had a life of their own: hence he proudly signed each one, as a stamp of approval.

These are the last drawings of his I shall be selling. I am keeping just a few special ones he did for me personally. So, Francis, after half a century it feels like a long farewell, old friend. You deserve all the fame that has come your way. It is only sad that you are no longer here to bask in it.

(Correspondence with Edwin Mullins, May 2011)

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