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Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956)

An ascending plume of faces, figures and atavistic forms

Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956)
An ascending plume of faces, figures and atavistic forms
signed with initials 'AOS' (lower left)
pencil, ink, watercolour and metallic paint on paper
21 1/8 x 14 ½ in. (53.7 x 36.8 cm.)
Executed circa 1929.
Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji.
His sale; Sotheby's, Sussex, 25 February 1987, lot 839.
Fred Koch.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 30 October 1997, lot 86, where purchased by the present owner.
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.

Brought to you by

Alice Murray
Alice Murray

Lot Essay

Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (1892-1988) was an English composer, best-known for composing the longest piece of piano work (Opus Clavicembalisticum, 1930). Born to Indian Zoroastrian and Spanish-Sicilian parents, he was exceptionally gifted as a pianist from a young age, and was largely self-taught as a composer.

A notoriously private man, Sorabji’s work remains renowned for its highly idiosyncratic mix of exoticism and sombreness. Sorabji considered performance a celebration - a rite rather than an act - which led him to impose a notorious ban on the public playing his works without his express consent, following a performance by pianist John Tobin which he found distressing. Following his death in 1988, his extraordinarily rich and complex output has gained a cult-like following.

We are very grateful to Robert Ansell for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.

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