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Whyte's announces auction of Irish & International Art of exceptional quality on 23 February
Banksy (British, b. 1974), Toxic Mary, screenprint; (no. 426 from edition of 600) numbered and blindstamped [P.O.W. printing] lower left; with Banksy copyright stamp lower right 27 by 19in. (68.58 by 48.26cm) €2,000-€3,000 (£1,480-£2,220 approx.)

DUBLIN.- Whyte’s will hold an auction of Irish & International Art of exceptional quality at the RDS on Monday 23 February at 6pm. Viewing will be open to the public from Saturday to Monday 21 to 23 February, 10am to 6pm. Art aficionados can expect an eclectic collection of nearly 200 lots comprising genre scenes from the 1870s to iconic views of the West by Paul Henry. Modernist examples by the well-known Irish names will be complemented by international stars such as Roy Lichtenstein and street art by Banksy and a debut appearance by Irish artist/activist Will St Leger among others.

One of the highlights of the February auction is a rare screenprint by New York Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. Lichtenstein came to prominence with his use of the cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and later his adapted comic-book panels such as Whaam! (1963, Tate Modern, London). Still Life with Lobster [Lot 71, €12,000-€15,000] is part of the 'Six Still Lifes Series' from the mid-1970s that explored the conventions of old master still life painting. The sale of this example at auction in Ireland will be a unique opportunity for collectors here to acquire a work by an international legend in Pop art and culture.

In 2005 prints by the illusive British street artist Banksy started to appear at auction and the appetite for his provocative images has been relentless ever since. Two examples feature in Whyte’s first sale of 2015 each with an estimate of €2,000-€3,000 [Lots 70 & 74]. Grannies is typical of the Banksy’s style and depicts two benign ladies knitting jumpers with slogans saying “Punks not Dead” and “Thug for life”. Similarly graphic in style are two examples by Irish street artist and activist Will St Leger. This is his first appearance at auction; his two works will guide €300-€500 each [Lots 72 & 73]. Other artists featured under the umbrella of Street Art include Blek le Rat, Dillon Boy, Antony Micallef, Martin Whatson and Miss Bugs [Lots 75-81, guides from €400 to €2,000].

Strong examples by Ireland’s best-known female artists are featured in this sale with three particularly striking works by May Guinness and Mary Swanzy. Both artists featured in the acclaimed Analysing Cubism show at IMMA in Dublin in 2013 and the lots on offer are equally worthy of Museum status. Lot 24, Still Life by Guinness estimates €8,000-€10,000 and demonstrates her adaption of a Modernist style following her time studying under Andre Lhote in the 1920s. The two examples by Swanzy show but her preoccupation with war in the 1940s in Revolution, 1942 [Lot 27, €4,000-€6,000] and her earlier Cubist phase in a wonderfully rhythmic landscape Bridge, [Lot 25, €5,000-€7,000].

For the traditionalists examples by Paul Henry, William Leech and Daniel O’Neill are sure to appeal. An iconic view of the west of Ireland from the 1940s by Henry holds the top guide in the auction [Lot 17] of €60,000-€70,000. For those looking to invest in a work of enduring value this example includes all the elements characteristic to his oeuvre; thatched cottages on an isolated country road with a mountain range in the distance and thick cumulous clouds dominating a vast sky. It is thought to represent a scene on Atlantic Drive, Achill. The Terrace by Leech [Lot 22, €8,000-€10,000] was exhibited by the artist at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin in 1940 and the impression left by Paris and later Brittany can be felt in the bright palette and impressionistic lively brushstrokes. A rare Self-Portrait from 1948 by Daniel O’Neill [Lot 29] guides €8,000-€12,000. O'’Neill, who is celebrated for his stoic female portraits, is seen here surrounded by religious references and stares intently at the viewer. It is sure to catch the eye of astute collectors.

2015 is the centenary of the birth of Cork artist Patrick Hennessy. Two sizeable oil paintings from the mid 1970s feature in sale [Lots 38 & 39, guides €4,000-€6,000 each]. Both works were originally sold at the artist’s estate sale (with his life-partner Henry Robertson Craig) in London 1986. These photorealistic North African scenes show the artist’s skill as a draughtsman as well as his talent for portraiture.

Tony O'’Malley - with his distinctive abstracted landscapes - represented with three superb works in oil. Lot 41, The Autumn Painting (I), 1981, leads the collection with a guide €10,000-€15,000. Its vibrant palette and textured board are testament to his time the Bahamas, where the climate as well as flora and fauna of the island had a profound affect on his work. All three lots in the sale reflect this popular period in his oeuvre.

A large bronze by Vivienne Roche entitled Delta Curve, 1989-90 [Lot 69, €4,000-€6,000] will appeal to those with a keen eye for sculpture and some outdoor space. Formerly located on the quays in Dublin’s Docklands, this is a major work by the Cork native.

Other names to look out for in this sale include Jack Yeats, John Henry Foley, William Orpen, William Conor, George Russell, Frank McKelvey, Percy French, George Campbell, Nano Reid, Louis le Brocquy, Patrick Scott, John Shinnors and Kenneth Webb among others.

VIEWING for this auction will be at the RDS, Anglesea Road entrance, from Saturday to Monday, 21 to 23 November 10am to 6pm daily. The auction will take place in the same venue on Monday 23 February at 6pm, and will be broadcast live at A superbly produced and expertly researched catalogue is available complimentary during the viewing or by post for €10.

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