Whyte's to offer Irish & International art

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Whyte's to offer Irish & International art
Paul Henry RHA, Spring in Wicklow, c. 1926-8. 21 by 20 in. (53.3 by 50.8 cm). Estimate: €150,000 - €200,000.

DUBLIN.- Whyte’s spring auction of Irish & International art promises to deliver another exciting opportunity for collectors to acquire rare artworks of outstanding quality and enduring value. On Monday 22 March 2021 153 lots of Irish & International art will be offered for auction.

One of top lots by value is a striking oil (illustrated above) titled Waiting for the Ferry, Low Tide, 1946 by Jack B. Yeats (lot 29, estimate €100,000-€150,000). Typical of his later work, in both execution and palette, it depicts a lone figure standing at the water’s edge. Behind her a steep bank of cliffs rises upwards creating a striking backdrop. The work has an interesting provenance, purchased from Leo Smith by Helen Hooker O’Malley and then gifted to the actor Liam Redmond, with whom Hooker had founded the Dublin Players Theatre in 1944. An earlier watercolour by Yeats dated 1919 depicts a circus clown looking out at the viewer (lot 28, €12,000-€18,000). Yeats examination of the tragicomic can be seen in a number of his works such as They Love Me (1947), Glory (1946) and perhaps most poignantly in Alone (1947). Many of the works suggest that he used the clown persona to explore feelings of isolation and alienation that he may felt came with the creative way of life.


After a world record price in October, and fierce bidding on three oils in December, once again a wonderful Paul Henry work takes centre stage at Whyte’s. The artist’s paintings of the West of Ireland are perhaps the most recognisable images of this country; however, rarer views of the east also appear at auction from time to time and Spring in Wicklow (lot 18, estimate of €150,000-€200,000) is one such example. The work features Henry’s characteristic blue hills, cottages and cumulous clouds in between interlacing branches of bare spring trees. Exhibited in Grace Horne’s Galleries in Boston, 1930, a local newpaper thought Spring in Wicklow looked ‘as some minor strain of Celtic music might sound’.


An oil painting of Sarsfield Bridge, Limerick by Thomas Ryan (lot 12, €2,000-€3,000) is on offer in the sale. It has a very interesting provenance having being gifted by the City of Limerick to Dr Tiede Herrema in 1975. Tiede Herrema was born in Zuilen, Holland in 1921. During World War II, he was arrested by the Nazis because he was in the Dutch resistance and was sent to a concentration camp in Poland. In the 1970s, Herrema ran a wire factory, Ferenka, in the city of Limerick. At the time, this was the city’s biggest employer, with approximately 1,400 workers. In October 1975, Herrema was kidnapped by the Provisional IRA in Castletroy, near Limerick. This triggered a large police investigation and a twoweek siege, after which Herrema was released unharmed. He died in 2020.


In the years following his execution in 1920, Kevin Barry’s fellow UCD students raised funds for the creation of a memorial window, but it was only when Richard O’Rahilly, married to Kevin Barry’s sister, was elected to the UCD Governing Body in 1932 that the window was finally commissioned. Designed and worked in double-glazed glass by Richard King at the Harry Clarke stained glass studios in Dublin, the memorial window was unveiled in Earlsfort Terrace in 1934 by the then President of the Irish Free State, Eamonn de Valera. Lot 16 (€3,000-€4,000) by Richard King is a charcoal cartoon for the window, depicting the blowing up of William of Orange's siege train in 1690 by Patrick Sarsfield and Michael 'Galloping' Hogan.


Louis le Brocquy first met Francis Bacon when he moved to London in the late 1940s. They remained friends up to Bacon's death. In 1966 Bacon wrote this introduction to his friend's Retrospective:

'Louis le Brocquy belongs to a category of artists who have always existed - obsessed by figuration outside and on the other side of illustration - who are aware of the vast and potent possibilities of inventing ways by which fact and appearance can be reconjugated.'i

In 1979 le Brocquy embarked on a series of works depicting his fellow artist and friend. Image of Francis Bacon, 1979 (illustrated right) is lot 56 in the sale guiding at €120,000-€150,000.

Another example from the artist’s head series is on offer, this time in watercolour, Image of Samuel Beckett, 1992 (lot 60, €15,000-€20,000). Louis le Brocquy’s friendship with Samuel Beckett endured until the writer died in December 1989. His respect was lifelong.

Doves, 1993-94 (lot 63, €30,000-€40,000) is a later oil from a series of bird paintings inspired by a memorable visit to Italy. Anne Madden recounts ‘The casa Pezzoli was a charming, whitewashed peasant house. In its courtyard a flock of white doves was fed by Louis. He was drawn to the intense life of these birds and made sketches from which a series of small oil paintings emerged.’ A striking tapestry Adam, 1999 (lot 64, €30,000-€40,000) is also on offer.

For those with a more modest budget, limited edition prints from le Brocquy’s ever popular Táin and Seven Aquatints series are included at estimates from €1,000-€2,000 as well as a very early watercolour An Empty Hearse Passes in the Evening, 1943 (lot 47, €4,000-€6,000).


Garden Impression, Paradise Island, Bahamas, 1981 [lot 65, estimate €40,000-€60,000, illustrated]– is one of three major Tony O’Malley works on offer. His marriage to Jane Harris in 1973 led to winters in the Bahamas, where he began painting outdoors and on canvas until 1987. This work, measuring 60 by 48ins, represents arguably the most important period in his ouevre where movement and colour dominate. The Caribbean light and colours had an enormous impact on O’Malley’s palette and this radically different environment charged his canvases with a buoyancy and lightness. The Bahamian works were also critical in terms of his career development opening doors to commercial galleries in Ireland and abroad. The present painting offers the astute collector an exceptional example by the Kilkenny artist. Móinmór, 1979 (lot 68, €20,000-€30,000) and Koi Carp, 1997 (lot 72, €25,000-€35,000) are also up for sale.


While legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan needs no introduction, his drawings, paintings, and silkscreen-oncanvas compositions are not as well-known as his music. Dylan has been making art since the 1960s, when he came on the scene as a young folk singer in Greenwich Village. Much of his work is generated out of his tours and reflects the impressions made upon him by the people and places he has encountered. The limited edition giclée print Two Sisters (lot 79, €3,000-€5,000) comes from Dylan’s “Drawn Blank” series, produced between 1989 and 1992 while touring America, Europe, and Asia. These expressionistic drawings, and the paintings born out of them, include street and interior scenes, landscapes, portraits, nudes, and still lifes—images as poetic and personal as his music. Lakeside Cabin (lot 81, €1,200-€1,800) comes from the same series. Other prints are on offer from British contemprary artists including Tracey Emin’s I Loved My Innocence, 2019 (lot 78, €3,000-€5,000) and Damien Hirst’s In A Spin series (lots 85&86, €1,000-€1,500 each).

Watch out for… wonderful paintings by John Shinnors, Donald Teskey, Peter Collis, Liam O’Neill and Arthur Maderson all of whom have enjoyed particular success at auction recently. Notable works by Northern Irish artists George Campbell, Daniel O’Neill, Colin Middleton and Arthur Armstrong are sure to be of interest. Strong examples by leading women artists include Camille Souter, Evie Hone, Genevieve Figgis and Barbara Warren. Also a work by Christy Brown, which was exhibited at major exhibitions in Dublin and in New York.

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