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Over 250 lots of exceptional Irish and British art in season this Autumn at Whyte's
Roderic O'Conor, Coastal Scene, Evening or Turbulent Sea, Brittany, c. 1898-1899. Oil on board. 10 x 13.25 in. Estimate: €15,000-€20,000.

DUBLIN.- Whyte’s 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.

A stellar example from Jack Butler Yeats’ oeuvre entitled Crossing the City [lot 65] shows an unusual view of Dublin’s city centre looking south diagonally from O’Connell Bridge down D’Olier 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 O’Connell 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 viewer’s 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 nation’s 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.

Whyte’s 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-Ayudhkij‘s 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 Whyte’s auction is its first public appearance since this time. Self portraits offer a rare insight into an artist’s 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.

Harry Kernoff maps Dublin’s cityscape in Davy Byrne’s 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 Byrne’s 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 Kernoff’s view the architecture of the forgotten façade is lit up against the night’s 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 O’Neill, both highly sought-after Northern Irish artists, feature with strong examples from their respective oeuvres. Dillion’s 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 O’Neill celebrates the brooding female through a cool palette and expressionistic form. These subjects are of most desirable and intriguing from each artist’s output and are sure to attract attention. Other Northern artist’s include, Colin Middleton, Neil Shawcross, Frank McKelvey, Joseph William Carey, James Humbert Craig and Markey Robinson among others.

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.

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 O’Conor, Letitia Hamilton, Micheal Farrell, Louis le Brocquy, Tony O’Malley, Thomas Ryan, George Campbell, Kenneth Webb and Graham Knuttel, all are sure to attract bidders.

Today's News

September 18, 2012

Louvre opens new 5,000 sq. meter Department of Islamic Arts with 3,000 artefacts on display

The Museo del Prado launches its "Goya in the Prado" website; more than 1,000 works available

Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective opens at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

George Washington's copy of Constitution goes on display at Mount Vernon estate

Over 250 lots of exceptional Irish and British art in season this Autumn at Whyte's

Exhibition of photographs by Albert Watson opens at Haus der Photographie in Hamburg

Following a multiyear, $2.8-million restoration, Winslow Homer's Maine studio to open to public

Christie's to offer masterpieces of French Art Deco from the Steven A. Greenberg Collection

Sotheby's to offer an opulent private collection of precious European goldsmith's work

Susan Philipsz combines sound installation, photography, and film at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art presents works by Bharti Kher

Collaboration between Frédéric Bruly Bouabré and Aboudia is inaugural exhibition at Cécile Fakhoury Gallery

Studio Verwey exhibition at De Hallen Haarlem researches the studio's role for Contemporary artists

Olafur Eliasson's Little Sun inspires young filmmakers across the world

Bonhams to sell works by South African artists who loved Zanzibar but fought over its doors

Groundbreaking Aboriginal art exhibition showcases five decades of Contemporary work

Art Deco and Belle Epoque designs lead Bonhams Fine Jewellery Sale

African-American Fine Art takes center stage at Swann Auction Galleries on October 18

Black Pearl Cognac sells for 10,350 at Bonhams in London after life at sea

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