first auction of autumn takes place at the RDS from 28 September to 1 October and presents over 250 lots of exceptional Irish and British art spanning more then 200 years.
CROSSING DUBLIN CITY IN 1929
A stellar example from Jack Butler Yeats oeuvre entitled Crossing the City [lot 65] shows an unusual view of Dublins city centre looking south diagonally from OConnell Bridge down DOlier Street with a view of Trinity College on the horizon. The foreground is dominated by a sculpture on a plinth which was moved to its current location on OConnell Street in 1929, the year this work was painted. The muted tones in Crossing the City, are suited to the urban subject matter which focuses on post-independence Dublin. Within the scene trams and traffic pass at speed along Burgh Quay. The viewers attention is drawn to a rearing horse in the right foreground, perhaps frightened by the bustle and noise of the city. The excitement of the crowds may be connected to such events as the Catholic Emancipation Centenary celebrations which took place in 1929. These events temporarily transformed the city into a display of national and religious fervour. This dramatic work is a rare example of expressionism in Irish art painted by one of the nations most important artists; it guides 100,000-150,000.
Other examples by Yeats include a watercolour from 1913, The Forester [lot 72, estimated at 8,000-10,000], which the shows a member of Irish National Foresters - a Catholic organisation akin to Orangeism in its intensity - on horseback leading a procession through a town. Yeats love of sport is seen in Entrance to the Boxing Show, [lot 70, 4,000-6,000] and various lots of illustrated correspondence [lots 73-83 ranging in estimate from 150 to 1,200], offer an opportunity to a spectrum of bidders to own a piece of Irish visual history.
THE LIAM O'KEEFFE-AYUDHKIJ COLLECTION
Whytes will present a selection from the Collection of Liam O'Keeffe Ayudhkij [lots 1-19] which offers buyers the very best in contemporary Irish art. Remembered for his business acumen, charity work and love of art, this collection demonstrates O'Keeffe-Ayudhkijs ties with his homeland and his support of modern Irish artists. O'Keeffe-Ayudhkij was born in Dublin in 1945 but later became a naturalised Thai having relocated to Thailand at the age of eighteen. He excelled in the business world, growing a company which would ultimately employ 23,000 people there by 2007. His collection comprises pivotal examples by Patrick Scott, particularly from the 1970s, among them Gold Painting 4, 1978 [lot 4, 5,000-7,000], a Self Portrait, 1965 by Brian Bourke [lot 15, 1500-2000] and an energetic William Crozier, The Island, 1994 [lot 17, 3,500-4,500] among others.
Gracing the front cover of the auction catalogue is a commanding self portrait by Leo Whelan. The Mirror, 1912 [lot 86, 15,000-20,000] was exhibited in the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin and Whytes auction is its first public appearance since this time. Self portraits offer a rare insight into an artists psyche. In this work the young Whelan presents a confident youth at the beginning of his career; foot firmly planted on the easel, poised and handsome. Considered the nearest to Sir William Orpen in sheer skill, Whelan, together with Seán Keating, would go on to play a critical role in building a visual identity for the newly independent Ireland.
Another striking self-portrait is one by George Collie [lot 84, 4000-6,000]. In contrast to Whelan, Collie is more enigmatic in his mirror image, offering the viewer hints of a story through props within the picture but confirming nothing except his skill.
Import, 2007 [lot 184, 30,000-40,000] by Cian McLoughlin maps the changing face of Irish society through 80 portraits of people from abroad living in Ireland in 2007. Comprising individual canvases hung en masse this powerful work is testimony to the diverse ethnicity found in Ireland today.
DUBLIN IN THE RARE AULD TIMES
Harry Kernoff maps Dublins cityscape in Davy Byrnes Pub, 1941 [Lot 61, 30,000 35,000] and Liberty Hall, Dublin (Night), 1934 [lot 64, 25,000-30,000]. The former shows the artist seated comfortably in a favoured watering hole with the reflection of Davy Byrnes seen in the mirror. A regular haunt of artistic types it is apt that Kernoff should choose it as the subject of a major work (the oil on which this work is based was acquired by the National Gallery of Ireland in 2000). The latter, shows a Dublin landmark, which now, 80 years on, is close to undergoing another facelift. In Kernoffs view the architecture of the forgotten façade is lit up against the nights sky, while on the pathway in front his ubiquitous cartoon-like figures go about their evening chores. Norah McGuinness captures the now altered banks of the River Dodder at Dartry in a superb autumnal coloured oil, Autumn Promenade, 1948 [lot 58, 15,000-20,000] while Gladys Maccabe encapsulates the old world appeal of the Antique Shop, Dublin [lot 207, 2,500-3,500].
Gerard Dillon and Daniel ONeill, both highly sought-after Northern Irish artists, feature with strong examples from their respective oeuvres. Dillions ominous Pierrot figure is the subject for Encounter, c.1968 [lot 48, 25,000-35,000] while Brigid, 1960 [lot 55, 20,000-30,000] by ONeill celebrates the brooding female through a cool palette and expressionistic form. These subjects are of most desirable and intriguing from each artists output and are sure to attract attention. Other Northern artists include, Colin Middleton, Neil Shawcross, Frank McKelvey, Joseph William Carey, James Humbert Craig and Markey Robinson among others.
MODERN BRITISH ART (1950 +)
From post-war period art to present day this sale offers a wide range of works by celebrated British artists. The influence of St. Ives on this cross-section of artists is undeniable and the collection opens with a large vibrant gouache by Patrick Heron Ceruleum Fragment In Reds: June 1970 [lot 20, 10,000-12,000]. The Cornish landscape impresses on Margaret Mellis, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and Robert Adams as well as Henry Moore and William Scott all featured in this sale with guides from 600 upwards. The section also features contemporary names such as Julian Opie known for his simplified images analogous to computer games and Turner Prize winner Tracey Emin.
CONTEMPORARY IRISH and OTHERS
Charles Tyrrell, Bridget Flannery, David Godbold, Michael Cullen, John Shinnors, Felim Egan and Willie Doherty are among the best in Irish contemporary art featured in this auction. With guides from 1,200, these names offer real value for future investment. Other names to watch out for are Roderic OConor, Letitia Hamilton, Micheal Farrell, Louis le Brocquy, Tony OMalley, Thomas Ryan, George Campbell, Kenneth Webb and Graham Knuttel, all are sure to attract bidders.