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Lost Fergusson painting, discovered in French attic, to feature in Christie's sale
Euan Uglow (1932-2000), Three in One. Estimate: £500,000 - 800,000.

LONDON.- Christie’s announced details of the Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale which will take place on 19 November 2014. Featuring 35 lots, the auction presents stellar examples of 20th century British sculpture and painting including John Duncan Fergusson’s Poise (estimate: £80,000-120,000), six paintings by L.S. Lowry, led by Coal Barge (estimate: £700,000-1,000,000), and Euan Uglow’s masterpiece entitled Three In One (estimate: £500,000-800,000), which is considered to be the artist’s most important painting to come to the market. The strong selection of modern sculpture is led by Figure (Sunion) by Dame Barbara Hepworth (estimate: £600,000-800,000), as well as sculpture by leading artists of the genre including Henry Moore, Lynn Chadwick, Dame Elisabeth Frink, and Naum Gabo, among others. The Modern British and Irish Evening Sale as a whole features works with estimates ranging from £50,000 to £700,000 and is followed by the Day Sale on 20 November, which comprises 86 works starting at just £7,000.

André Zlattinger, Senior Director, Head of Modern British Art, Christie’s London and Rachel Hidderley, Christie’s International Specialist and Director, Modern British Art: “We are pleased to present some important and monumental pieces of Modern British art, in a sale which spans over 100 years and celebrates our greatest British artists of the past century. The Evening and Day sales will provide a rich array of opportunities for new and established collectors at a wide range of price levels, encouraging active engagement in this dynamic and inspiring category.”

Christie’s presents two works by the most experimental of the Scottish colourists, John Duncan Fergusson, which have been discovered in France. The present owners are a brother and sister, who came across the paintings whilst clearing the attic of their family house in Giverny. Their grandparents were acquaintances of Claude Monet, at the time when a community of painters were living and working in the area. The Evening Sale will feature Fergusson’s Poise. Painted in 1916, this work is emblematic of Fergusson’s artistic interests from this period, exemplifying the artist’s deep understanding of form, rhythmic line and the shapes of the objects. This work has not been seen since it was exhibited at Fergusson’s 1918 exhibition at Connell Gallery, when Poise had the highest asking price of all his works. The second painting discovered, Anne Estelle Rice, washing (estimate: £40,000-60,000), will be offered in the Day Sale on 20 November.

A highlight of the sale is an important group of paintings by L.S. Lowry, from various sources, including the Coal Barge (estimate: £700,000-1,000,000), which is offered alongside other celebrated works including The Bus Stop (estimate: £400,000-600,000) and Canal Scene near Accrington (estimate: £300,000- 500,000). Created at a seminal turning point in the artist’s career, the Coal Barge conveys Lowry’s unique way of making the ordinary spectacular. These highly evocative industrial compositions, all of which display Lowry’s fascination with the human interactions of urban life, continue to be in strong demand.

Christie’s will offer a monumental masterpiece by Euan Uglow, Three in One (estimate: £500,000-800,000). Painted in 1967-68, the work exemplifies Uglow’s lifelong admiration for, and depiction of the female nude. Three in One was the highlight of the one-man exhibition Euan Uglow held in 1974 at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. It is an example of Uglow’s unique working method, and his distinctive position within British post-war painting. Further highlights include Sir John Lavery’s The bathing Hour, Lido, Venice (estimate: £400,000-600,000), Sir Stanley Spencer’s Dusting Shelves (estimate: £200,000-300,000), two landscape paintings by Sir Winston Churchill, and Edward Burra’s The Tram, which exemplifies the artist’s captivation with urban life (estimate: £200,000-300,000).

In June this year, Christie’s Modern British & Irish Art Evening Sale set a new world record price for Dame Barbara Hepworth with Figure for Landscape realising £4.1 million. Following this success, Christie’s will present two unique, carved works by the artist in this sale, Figure (Sunion) (estimate: £600,000-800,000) and Two Turning Forms (estimate: £500,000-800,000). Following Hepworth’s visit to Greece in 1954, Figure (Sunion) was carved in 1960. Hepworth visited the impressive ruins of Temple of Poseidon, built circa 440 BC. Standing on a cliff top at the southern tip of Cape Sounion (or Sunion), these ruins were the inspiration for the present sculpture. Figure (Sunion) has remained in the family of the original purchaser, who had acquired it at its very first exhibition, Barbara Hepworth, at the Charles Lienhard Galerie in Zurich – and it has re-appeared for many of the artist’s major exhibitions thereafter, including the 1968 retrospective at the Tate Gallery, London.

Further important and monumental pieces of modern British sculpture include Upright Motive No. 8 by Henry Moore (estimate: £300,000-500,000), from the Collection of Rudolf and Leonore Blum. One can see Moore’s full departure from realism in Upright Motives, compared to the artist’s Reclining Figure or Mother and Child sculptures. This sale also offers Maquette for Curved Mother and Child (estimate: £80,000-120,000), previously owned by Lauren Bacall, the Oscar winning actress from New York, who was both a collector and friend of Moore. Lynn Chadwick is another sculptor who alternated between naturalism and abstraction and Maquette IV Jubilee III marries both interests (estimate: £300,000-500,000). Chadwick is regarded as one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century; in 1965 he was awarded the International Sculpture Prize at the Venice Biennale, ahead of Alberto Giacometti. Among the works of differing dimensions and media is Naum Gabo’s Construction in Space: Suspended (estimate: £150,000-250,000), which was formerly in the collection of Sir Norman Reid, the Director of the Tate Gallery from 1964-1979.

The November sales feature a strong selection of works by the St Ives School: Winifred Nicholson, Ben Nicholson, Patrick Heron, Bryan Wynter, and Christopher Wood. Evening Sale highlights include one of the finest portraits that Winifred Nicholson painted of her husband, Ben Nicholson (in blue jumper), which was exhibited in her first solo show at the Beaux Arts Gallery in 1927 (estimate: £150,000-250,000). Christie’s will also offer Heron’s Big Grey - With Disc: June - September 1959 (estimate: £150,000-250,000).

Christopher Wood spent time with fellow artists Ben and Winifred Nicholson at their home in Bankshead in Cumberland. Winifred Nicholson’s still lifes had a significant impact on Wood’s work, and on his return to Paris she sent him bunches of spring flowers in the post. Her influence can be seen in Wood’s Dahlias in a white pot, painted in 1929 (estimate: £120,000-180,000). The simplicity of the whitewashed background in this still life also shows Wood’s debt to the work of Ben Nicholson.

The continued demand for British Pop Art was particularly evident in February 2014, when Christie’s sold Gerald Laing’s Brigitte Bardot for a World record sum of £902,500. The Evening Sale includes Laing’s Wedding Jump (estimate: £200,000-300,000). Based on a photograph that the artist spotted in a newspaper or magazine, the image commemorates a parachute jump from a light aircraft made by a couple as a daredevil way of making their entrance to their own wedding reception. Further works by British pop artists include Anthony Donaldson’s For Jim Clark (estimate: £60,000-80,000) and Joe Tilson’s UH! OH! (estimate: £60,000-80,000).

The Modern British and Irish Art Day Sale will feature Blue Form on White by William Scott (estimate: £70,000-100,000), originally from the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation, which is being sold to benefit an endowment fund for students at the University of the Arts, London. Further highlights include Enchanteresse by Allen Jones (estimate: £60,000-80,000) and House of Four Souls by Alan Davie (estimate: £30,000-50,000).

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