Modern British Art Evening Sale on 19 June 2018 will launch 20th Century at Christies, a series of auctions that will take place in London from 15 to 29 June 2018. Coinciding with the centenary of the end of the First World War, two paintings by one of the leading Official War Artists, Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson will demonstrate the power of figurative painting, the development of which can be traced in the work of L. S. Lowry ad Stanley Spencer later in the 20th century. Icons of British Modernism, including a unique carving by Henry Moore and two sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, will be showcased alongside a group of artists representing Op Art and Pop Art as the pictorial landscape in the UK transformed. Comprised of paintings by Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, Allen Jones, Richard Lin, Victor Pasmore, and Bridget Riley, the group is highlighted by a rare portrait by one of the founding members of Pop Art, Pauline Boty.
The Modern British Art Day Sale will follow on 20 June. The sales are complemented by the second edition of the exhibition Sculpture in the Square, an outdoor sculpture garden set within St Jamess Square, London. It features nine works that will be offered in the Evening Sale by Lynn Chadwick, Tony Cragg, Barry Flanagan, Dame Elisabeth Frink, William Turnbull, and Emily Young. Estimates in the Modern British Art season range from £2,000 to £3,000,000, offering collectors of every level an opportunity to acquire pieces by the celebrated masters of the 20th century.
Unseen in public since the 1970s, Henry Moores Head (circa 1934-36, estimate: £2,000,000-3,000,000) will lead the Evening Sale. It is a unique carving that reflects the influences of Moores contemporaries Brâncusi, Modigliani and Picasso, whose cubist influence can be seen in the mask-like form. Two unique works by Barbara Hepworth will also be presented. As a sculptor, the materials she used spoke to Hepworth. Single Form (Rosewood) (1962-63, estimate: £800,000-1,200,000), created from rosewood, is a celebration of the woods softness and the rich brown of its colour. Tiki (1969, estimate: £1,800,000-2,500,000) is carved from Irish green marble, and demonstrates how Hepworth utilised the smooth finish and undulating green tone of the marble, which is punctuated by a series of rhythmic veined lines and concave circles, to create a powerfully sinuous and organic work.
OP ART, POP ART AND COLOUR
In Allen Joness The General and his Girl (1961, estimate: £300,000-500,000) the diverse sources of work by R. B. Kitaj, David Hockney, Francis Bacon, Josef Albers and Ellsworth Kelly are succinctly recalled within an overall scheme presented insistently as Joness own. Pauline Botys Portrait of Derek Marlowe with Unknown Ladies was painted and first exhibited in 1963 (estimate: £120,000-180,000) and brings together two key strands in Botys work: a celebration of heterosexual desire and pleasure with a critique of the gendering of the cultural scene of the 60s. One of two paintings by the artist, David Hockneys vibrant still life Two Pink Flowers (1989, estimate: £350,000-450,000) depicts Hockneys play with multiple viewpoints, an interest he developed with his experimental photographic montages of the mid-1980s. In Shadow Rhythm (1989, estimate: £500,000-800,000) and Red Place (1987, estimate: £350,000-450,000) Bridget Rileys exploration of Op Art underwent a dramatic change with the reintroduction of the diagonal in the form of a sequence of parallelograms used to disrupt and animate the vertical stripes that had so strongly characterised her previous paintings. This is contrasted by the work of Richard Lin (lots 4, 5 and 6) and Victor Pasmore (lots 3 and 43), who embrace the minimal aesthetic and use white as the primary colour for their work.
Survivors at Arras, (1917, estimate: £400,000-600,000) and Dog Fight, (1918-19, estimate: £100,000-150,000) both depict the harsh realities of The Great War, by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson.
Survivors at Arras was purchased in 1918 by Captain Harry Brody and passed by descent. This is the first time the painting has been offered at auction. Greenhouse Interior (circa 1935, estimate: £150,000-250,000) and a Portrait of Kate Morrell (1959, estimate: £200,000-300,000) by Stanley Spencer are closely observed and highly detailed paintings that demonstrate the trajectory of figurative painting in the 20th century. People Standing About (1935, estimate: £700,000-1,000,000) is an outstanding example of L. S. Lowrys work from the mid-1930s, a period in which his output was rendered light and optimistic by strong colour tones on a bright white ground. The group is completed by Edward Burras The Nit-Pickers (1932, estimate: £500,000-800,000), the only painting in his oeuvre which depicts prostitutes in their working world, in this case, the red-light district of Marseille.