Coming up on 12 October is our Modern and Contemporary Art auction. Ahead of the auction we are delighted to have Simon Martin, art historian, curator, writer and museum director, pick out some of his top lots from our forthcoming auction.
Simon is Director of Pallant House Gallery, in Chichester, which has one of the best public collections of Modern British art. He has curated many exhibitions and written widely on art. Talking about the auction, Simon said, 'Looking through the Modern and Contemporary Sale on 12 October 2021, it is pleasing to see numerous artists whose work is represented in Pallant House Gallery’s collection of Modern British and contemporary art – Alan Davie, Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink, Leonard Rosoman, Victor Pasmore, John Piper, LS Lowry, Peter Blake, Damien Hirst, and Tracey Emin, to name just a few.'
Lot 25: λ Anthea Alley (British 1927-1993), 'Untitled (Head)', metal and steel rods | Est. £2,000-3,000 (+ fees)
"In recent years there has been an increasing interest in the work of women sculptors such as Anthea Alley. Pallant House Gallery recently acquired a similar sculpture by Alley with welded steel rods as part of a collection bequeathed by Muriel Wilson, former Head of Visual Arts at the British Council, complementing our holdings of sculptures by her contemporaries such as Eduardo Paolozzi and Geoffrey Clarke who were associated with ‘Brutalism’."
Lot 29: λ Dame Elisabeth Frink (British 1930- 1993), 'Pilgrim', Bronze with a brown patina | Est. £40,000-60,000 (+ fees)
"This is an archetypal Frink subject: the walking man conveyed with strength and purpose. Her contribution to Modern British art is undergoing a reassessment, with recent exhibitions at Hauser and Wirth in Somerset, the Djanogly Gallery and Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Last year Pallant House Gallery acquired a fantastic group of over 100 prints, drawings and sculptures from the estate of Frink’s son Lin Jammet."
Lot 35: λ Charles Ginner (British 1878-1952), 'Lower Boscastle', Ink and watercolour
"There is something mesmerising about the rendition of the roof tiles in this drawing, capturing the fall of light and shadows. A key figure in the Camden Town Group, Ginner was known for his urban views of London in the early twentieth century, together with Walter Sickert, Spencer Gore and Harold Gilman. His sister lived in this Cornish village and he stayed there on numerous occasions in the 1940s, painting views that are now in the Tate, Government Art Collection and Arts Council Collection."
Lot 53: William Nicholson (British 1872-1949), 'An Alphabet (Campbell 25)', The complete set of 26 lithographs printed in colours, 1897-98 | Est. £800-1,200 (+ fees)
"I have a particular enthusiasm for modern prints and book illustration, and love William Nicholson’s visual wit and economy of means, especially ‘A is an Artist’ in which Nicholson depicted himself as a pavement artist. 'An Alphabet' was originally produced in wood-cut, then printed as lithographs. The volumes are often split up and so it’s good to see a complete set of all 26 framed together."
Lot 58: λ Ethelbert White (British 1891-1972), 'The Story of my Heart', Twelve wood engravings, 1923 | Est. £1,000-1,500 (+ fees)
"Ethelbert White was a contemporary of John and Paul Nash but has been overlooked and deserves greater recognition. He cultivated the image of the Bohemian artist, travelling around Sussex and Surrey in a gypsy caravan, producing distinctive pastoral watercolours. He was also a talented wood-engraver, and The Story of My Heart is probably his most important illustrated book. One of these prints is in Pallant House Gallery’s collection of Modern British prints."
Lot 92: λ Henry Moore (British 1898-1986), 'Head of Queen (Study)', Bronze with a green patina | Est. £50,000-80,000 (+ fees)
"I am always interested in artists’ working methods, and the way in which certain themes develop and evolve through studies and preparatory works. This study for the head of his Queen reveals the artist’ hand far more than the large-scale King and Queen sculpture; the scratches on the side of the face feel raw and expressive. It feels characterful: Moore has considered how the weight of the crown and the angle of the head give it a regal bearing."
Lot 134: Jean Marchand (French 1883-1940), 'Landscape with tree', Oil on board | Est. £400-600 (+ fees)
"This little painting could be easily overlooked, but there is something pleasing about the way Marchand conveys the shadows in the foliage and on the grass. As a French painter, Marchand is by no means a household name in this country, but he was much admired by the Bloomsbury Group artists, and his works are in the collection of the Charleston Trust, Courtauld Gallery, Tate and other galleries. When he exhibited at the Carfax Galleryin 1915 Clive Bell wrote, ‘No living painter is more purely concerned with the creation of form and the emotional significance of shapes and colours than Marchand.’"
Lot 281: λ Peter Howson (Scottish b.1958), 'The Noble Dosser', Woodcut, 1987 | Est. £500-700 (+ fees)
"An impression of this powerful print will be part of our forthcoming exhibition 'Hockney to Himid – 60 Years of British Printmaking', which opens in November 2021. It was recently donated by Mark Golder and Brian Thompson, print collectors who have given over 500 prints to Pallant House Gallery, including a strong group of works by Scottish contemporary artists such as Peter Howson. It is a huge and impressive woodcut, which recalls the energy and subject matter of the German Expressionist artists."
Lot 327: λ Stik (British b. 1979), 'Holding Hands (Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue & Teal)', Lithographs printed in colours, 2020 | Est. £3,000-5,000 (+ fees)
"As a cathedral city, Chichester might seem an unlikely place for street art, but it is home to pieces by some of the best-known international street artists. A mural by Stik featuring the same figures holding hands is painted on a wall just down the street from Pallant House Gallery and so I get to see it every day."
Tuesday 12 October | 10.30am BST
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
Browse the auction
View page turning catalogue
Sign up to email alerts
Sign up for auction alerts and our monthly newsletter to receive expert analysis and insights from our specialists and keep up-to-date on forthcoming auctions, valuation days and previews.