Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale, taking place on 22 March 2022, will be led by Bridget Rileys Gala (estimate: £2,500,000-3,500,000), a pioneering painting from the artists curving-colour series. A rare seascape by L.S. Lowry will be presented alongside a village scene by the artist while a landscape by David Bomberg, The Bridge and the River Tajo, Ronda (1935, estimate: £850,000-1,200,000), depicts one of the artists Spanish landscapes. Sir John Laverys The Croquet Party (1890-93, estimate: £1,200,000-1,800,000) is a large-scale musing on the evolution of social and sporting interaction within society in the late 19th century. Modern sculpture is represented in the sale with large-scale works by Dame Elisabeth Frink, William Turnbull and Lynn Chadwick. In addition, Dame Barbara Hepworths Coré, (1960 estimate: £500,000-800,000) and Hollow Oval (January) (1965, estimate: £200,00-300,000) are presented. Ben Nicholsons October 1949 (Rangitane) (estimate: £700,000-1,000,000), created in 1949 for the New Zealand Shipping Companys steamship the M.V. Rangitane, is showcased together with 1936 (white relief) (estimate: £1,500,000-2,500,000). His father, Sir William Nicholsons painting Miss Simpson's Boots (1919, estimate: £300,000-500,000) has been in the same private family collection for 80 years. The Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale will take place on 22 March 2022 and will be live and livestreamed to our clients globally.
Angus Granlund, Head of Evening Sale, Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale: Following the success of the 20/21 Shanghai to London series at the beginning of the month, the March season at Christies continues with the Modern British and Irish Art Evening and Day Sales. The Evening Sale will be led by Bridget Rileys captivating Gala from a seminal period of her career in the 1970s which saw her translate colour frequency to the canvas. Ben Nicholsons October 1949 (Rangitane) and 1936 (white relief) harmoniously complement two exquisite sculptures by Barbara Hepworth from the 1960s. Large-scale works by Dame Elisabeth Frink and Lynn Chadwick complete the sculptural selection in the Evening Sale. A rare, empty seascape by L.S. Lowry is seen alongside a musing on rural life in The Village Street. One of the most significant Wrestler paintings by Sir Peter Blake, a previously unseen Frank Bowling Poured Painting and a bold still life by Sir William Nicholson are further highlights. We look forward to welcoming our clients to the London galleries.
Bridget Rileys Gala (1974, estimate: £2,500,000-3,500,000) belongs to a landmark series of curving-colour paintings in which Riley made use of a sequence of gentle, wave-like curves of colour to induce a variety of rhythmic ripples of chromatic sensation in the eye and mind of the viewer. Gala is one of the first of Rileys paintings to attempt to tune the frequency of the colour field into a controlled rhythm of form.
SIR JOHN LAVERY
Sir John Laverys rare painting The Croquet Party (1890-93, estimate: £1,200,000-1,800,000) powerfully showcases Laverys abiding interest in modern life, transforming a traditional group portrait into a dynamic composition that revels in the elegant fashions and pastimes of his subjects.
L.S. Lowrys The Sea (1964, estimate: £1,200,000-1,800,000) was formerly on long-term loan to the Abbot Hall, Kendal and is being offered at auction for the first time. The Sea is understood to be one of only three large-scale empty seascapes that Lowry painted. In the wake of his mothers death in 1939, the sea also came to stand as a reflection of his own increased state of loneliness and of his sense of living through a landscape of aftermath. Although Lowry is the poet of the industrial crowd, The Village Street, (1935, estimate: £1,000,000- £1,500,000) depicts a turn to a more light-hearted subject: the microcosm of a village community with shops and church, dwellings and children playing in the street.
SIR WILLIAM NICHOLSON
Sir William Nicholsons Miss Simpson's Boots (1919, estimate: £300,000-500,000) has been held in the same private collection since Lady Marjorie Stirling acquired it in 1942. It is a wonderfully original painting that wholly captures the artists handling of chiaroscuro and his unrivalled handling of the still life format.
The sale includes two exceptional works by Ben Nicholson, 1936 (white relief) (estimate: £1,500,000-2,500,000), was first exhibited in the ground-breaking Abstract and Concrete exhibition at Lefevre Gallery, London, in 1936, alongside works by Mondrian, Hepworth and Miró. October 1949 (Rangitane) (estimate: £700,000-1,000,000) is one of two large curved panels that Nicholson was commissioned to create in 1949 for the New Zealand Shipping Companys newest steamship, the M.V. Rangitane. Hired by the architects working on the ships interiors, Easton & Robertson, Nicholson was the ideal person to create a modern and boundary-pushing work for this state of the art passenger liner.
Sir Frank Bowlings Untitled (1978, estimate: £100,000-200,000) is an example of his energetic, colourful and bold experimental works from his Poured Painting series, created between 1973 and 1978. Untitled was a wedding present from the artist to the owners shortly after the work was painted in 1978, and this is the first time it has been shown to the public.
SIR PETER BLAKE
Sir Peter Blakes Doktor K. Tortur (1965, estimate: £350,000-550,000) belonged for many years to the celebrated restaurateur, Michael Chow and his wife Eva. Wrestlers entered the lexicon of Blakes art in 1961 as the comically hyper-masculine counterparts to the female strippers and pin-up images on whom he had already lavished his attention during the previous decade. Widely reproduced, this is one of the most important and recognisable works from the series.
David Bombergs The Bridge and the River Tajo, Ronda (1935, estimate: £850,000-1,200,000) depicts Ronda, at one point Bombergs Spanish home. He briefly lived in Spain in the 1930s, where he painted some of his most intense and accomplished landscapes. By 1935, the descent into violence in the country had become so alarming that he took a boat with his family back to London.
Lynn Chadwicks Two Watchers V Third Version (1959, estimate: £350,000-450,000) is one of Chadwicks most recognisable subjects, demonstrating the development of his sculptural practice from linear form into figurative abstraction. Barbara Hepworths Coré (1960, estimate: £500,000-800,000) makes a specific allusion to the ancient Greek Kore (korai in the plural), the highly-stylised, freestanding sculptures of elegantly draped young women that were the female counterpart to the kouros statues. Conceived in 1978 (estimate: £500,000-800,000), Dame Elisabeth Frinks Horse marks one of the most impressive equestrian sculptures of her oeuvre. The solitary life-sized horse stands tall and proud, with its ears pricked and long neck extended forward in a state of static alert.