Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
JOHN MINTON (1917-1957)
JOHN MINTON (1917-1957)
JOHN MINTON (1917-1957)
1 More
JOHN MINTON (1917-1957)
4 More
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF WALLACE CAMPBELLA successful businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and art collector, Wallace Ransford Campbell (1940-2020) was a stalwart in the Jamaican arts community. Formerly the General Director of Grace Kennedy’s Merchandise Division, he went on to own and operate the Lenn Happ supermarket for nearly 30 years. He served as a member of the National Gallery of Jamaica’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2011 and played a significant role in the Edna Manley College Arts Foundation, which seeks to advocate for the arts both locally and internationally through scholarships, community engagement, and outreach programs.Campbell’s interest in painting began in his youth, and as his passion for the visual arts grew into adulthood, he began collecting art more seriously and in greater depth. Campbell amassed the largest private art collection in Jamaica, comprising over 1,500 works. The collection features a number of British works which we are delighted to be offering in the Modern British Art Day sale, including pictures by John Minton and Augustus John, whose subjects are largely Jamaican, as well as a group of sculptures by Jamaican born artist Ronald Moody. Throughout his life, Campbell demonstrated an unwavering support of local arts institutions such as the National Gallery of Jamaica, which was instrumental in expanding his own understanding of Jamaican art history. He conducted his own independent research into Jamaican and Caribbean art history, hoping to one day establish a museum of Caribbean art to bring together artists and artwork from across the region, particularly Jamaica, Haiti, and Cuba. Campbell used his art collection to help support community development, donating works to support local organisations while also using his platform to engage with and mentor young art collectors. In 2013, Campbell was awarded by the Government of Jamaica for his 'Outstanding Contribution to the Private Sector and the Promotion of the Arts'. Campbell was not only a leading art collector in the region but also singular in his desire to empower those around him through his passion for Jamaican and Caribbean art. Christie’s is honoured to be offering a selection of modern British works from this outstanding and unique collection amassed by a truly visionary collector.
JOHN MINTON (1917-1957)

Banana Plantation

Details
JOHN MINTON (1917-1957)
Banana Plantation
signed and dated 'John Minton 1951' (lower right), signed again, inscribed and dated again 'Banana Plantation/John Minton/Oil 1951' (on the artist's label attached to the reverse)
oil on canvas
30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm.)
Painted in 1951.
Provenance
with Thos. Agnew & Sons, London.
Anonymous sale; Phillips, Ipswich, 12 November 1987, lot 163.
Literature
F. Spalding, Dance till the Stars Come Down: A Biography of John Minton, London, 1991, n.p., pl. XVI, image reversed.
Exhibited
London, Lefevre Gallery, Recent Watercolours and Paintings of Jamaica by John Minton, September 1951, no. 2.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
These lots have been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

Brought to you by

Pippa Jacomb
Pippa Jacomb Director, Head of Day Sale

Lot Essay

Recording his impressions of his visit to Jamaica in late 1950, Minton wrote of ‘coloured inks, of over-ripe fruit, acid yellows, magentas, viridians, sharp like a discord. The vegetation, intricate, speckled and enormous, seems to grow before the eyes, bursting with sap, throttling itself in coils towards the sun’ (John Minton, quoted in F. Spalding, Dance till the Stars Come Down: A Biography of John Minton, London, 2005, p. 155).

This observation forms the blueprint for this painting’s composition and radiant palette. There is an almost overwhelming sense of nature’s abundance; two figures are dwarfed by huge tangles of foliage, rendered in countless shades of green and earthy reds. Minton stayed with plantation owners for some of his visit, and his writings and paintings, such as Jamaican Village (sold in these Rooms on 23 November 2016, lot 8, for a world auction price of £293,000), record his unease at the racial inequality and political tension he observed. However, despite the colonial theme, Banana Plantations vibrant colours and relaxed conversing figures make its atmosphere one of escapism and repose.

The trip was highly productive for Minton, and four of his Jamaican paintings including Banana Plantation were exhibited at the Lefevre Gallery in September 1951. Another, Jamaican Landscape, was a large 45 x 60 in. work commissioned for the ground-breaking 60 Paintings for 51 exhibition, part of the Festival of Britain. Jamaican Landscape is now presumed lost, but the photograph in the accompanying exhibition catalogue shows striking similarities to the present work, particularly in the treatment of the drooping banana tree.

;

Related Articles

View all
Why Britain was first to go Po auction at Christies
Christies auction house James Christie logo
Restitution: how these Old Mas auction at Christies

More from Modern British Art Day Sale

View All
View All