The London Art Fair returns to the Business Design Centre, and the gallery will be exhibiting a group of new modern British acquisitions alongside contemporary works by gallery artists.
Cloaked Couple V, 1977
51 x 35 x 45 cm.
Signed and numbered 'CHADWICK 763S, stamped with the foundry mark (on the cloak of the female figure) and numbered
Edition of 9
The Artist, thence by family descent
Osborne Samuel Gallery, London
Dennis Farr & Éva Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick, Sculptor, With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue 1947-1996, Lypiatt Studio, Stroud, 1997,p.314, cat.no.763S
Edinburgh, Mercury Gallery, Lynn Chadwick, 25 February-31March 1983, cat.no.9 (another cast)
Cloaked Couple V conceived in 1977 demonstrates how by joining together the male and female figures Chadwick was able to explore the ideas of tenderness and intimacy in his paired sculptures. With the separated couples the owners’ can determine their positioning and relationship to one another; they can be controlled and expressed in a myriad of ways. But with the fusing of the bronze cloaks, at a position where the lower arms and hands meet underneath, an unbreakable bond is created between the sexes which is first established in Chadwick’s mature phase in his life-size Two Reclining Figures (1972). The emphasis shifts, as the 1970s progress and the technique developed, to an emotional level, where the figures’ humanity is realised in new terms. With Cloaked Couple V the subtleties of the woman’s stretched neck and positioning of face leaning into her companion imply a moment of privacy and dialogue is occurring which, as viewers, we are privileged to share.
Michael Bird comments on Chadwick’s work from this time:
‘His increasing tendency to interpret his work in terms of human relationship, rather than formal balance, begins to be audible. “Presences” was how he referred to his new figure sculptures; they were about being, not doing: “I used to call them Watchers, but no longer. Sometimes they are not watching anything. What they are doing is illustrating a relationship – a physical relationship – between people”. It was through this relationship, not through purely formal or allusive qualities, that he wanted his sculptures to speak: “If you can get their physical attitudes right you can spell out a message”‘ (Michael Bird, Lynn Chadwick, Lund Humphries, Farnham, Surrey, 2014, p.147).
Sitting Couple, 1990
65 x 69 x 61 cm.
Inscribed 'C107 1/9 P.E'
Edition of 9
Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Chicago, 2004
Private Collection, USA, May 2004
Dennis Farr and Eva Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick: Sculptor, Aldershot, 2006, no. C107, illustrated p. 409
Feico Hoekstra, Loes Visch, Teo van den Brink, eds., Exhibition Catalogue, Zwolle, Museum de Fundatie, Giacometti-Chadwick: Facing Fear, 2018, illustrated in colour p. 150
Another work from this edition has been included in: Zwolle, Museum de Fundatie, Giacometti-Chadwick: Facing Fear, September 2018 – January 2019
I noticed some stainless steel sculptures in Miami once, by the sea, and they looked very shiny and bright and wonderful. While if you had things with any iron in them at all [in those circumstances] they looked dilapidated and rusty. So I thought I’d try stainless steel. ¹
Having embarked on his adventure with a new material, it was natural that Chadwick should see what happened when he used it to create some of his established archetypes, like the Sitting Couple. They are superficially similar to the monumental bronze couples of the 1980’s but the forms in stainless steel are crisper and sharper throughout. The planes of polished stainless steel reflect every change in colour and light that surround them, imbuing the surface with a vitality that shifts with the line of sight.
¹Edward Lucie-Smith, Chadwick, puplished by Lypiatt Studio, 1997, p. 131
Twister II, 1962
109 x 34 x 23 cm.
Signed and numbered from the edition of 4 on the edge of the base
Edition of 4
A.M. Hammacher, Modern English Sculpture, London, 1967, p. 113, another cast illustrated.
D. Farr and E. Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick Sculptor, Aldershot, 2006, p. 186, no. 367, another cast illustrated
Brussels, Galerie Withofs, Lynn Chadwick, October – November 1969, not numbered, another cast exhibited
Twister I held in The Tate Gallery Collection, London
The two sculptures that constitute the Twister Series were both conceived in 1962. According to Tony Reichardt, working at the Marlborough Gallery at this time, Twister I, which is a unique piece made from welded steel, was a response to the expiry of his contract with the gallery. In 1960 Chadwick had signed a two year deal with Marlborough and although very lucrative he found it demanding. He celebrated this freedom by creating a series of unique pieces, rather than editioned bronzes, to fulfil an exhibition schedule.
The Twister Series are clearly related to the Watchers that Chadwick had been producing from 1959 and ‘stand observant but undemonstrative, sinister, armless beings … the Watchers seem to be tensed; waiting, aware that something is going to happen.’ (A. Bowness, Lynn Chadwick, London, 1962)
Twister II appears to have the same physical attributes as the Watchers, however, Chadwick has marginally offset the three blocks that make up the abstracted figure. Rather than ‘tensed and waiting’ these subtle changes give the piece a sense of movement, even dance; a restrained joviality. The surface maintains the impression of welded unrefinement, so important in his earlier work, despite being cast in bronze.
Is this work Chadwick celebrating the cutting of gallery ties or maybe a response to an experience he had as Artist in Residence at Ontario College of Art during 1962? He himself maintained that he gave his works the titles after he had created them and he famously did not interpret his own sculptures, stating that ‘Art must be the manifestation of some vital force coming from the dark, caught by the imagination and translated by the artist’s ability and skill … Whatever the final shape, the force behind … indivisible. When we philosophize upon this force we lose sight of it. The intellect alone is too clumsy to grasp it’ (A. Bowness, ibid.)
The estate of the artist has confirmed that this example was cast prior to 1974.
Forest Floor, 1988
Oil on Canvas
142 x 117 cm.
Signed in oil verso
Annely Juda Fine Art, London
Thence by descent
Clough’s title offers few clues as to how we might interpret her painting Forest Floor. In many ways she presents us with a visual puzzle and a challenge to untangle and decode her enigmatic forms. This is frequently the case with her work since titles usually occurred to her while she was in the process of painting or even long after she had completed a picture. While it may often appear to be abstract, she repeatedly stated that her subject matter was essentially based on some kind of observation:
Nothing that I do is ‘abstract’. I can locate all the ingredients of a painting in the richness of the outside world, the world of perception.
Clough generally worked in a conventional manner and with orthodox materials. For example, she made detailed preparatory studies as she began work on a painting. However, her paintings are also the products of several layers of experience and ritual. Her creative stages included aspects of observation, filtered memory, accumulated understanding and hands-on experimentation with materials. She claimed that it was landscape, in particular, which was the root of her imagery and all her painted forms, no matter how strange or ambiguous, were derived from observation or memory of some kind of landscape:
I see my subject mainly as landscape, but the kind of landscape I am dealing with is something I can not match up to…I have the mind of a northern romantic which tends towards the atmospheric…This may be the wind and the weather of English and not just northern romanticism.
Forest Floor is one of Clough’s most romantic paintings. The scraping away of pigment from the surface of canvas has formed a set of dark, curious shapes rising up from the lower edge of the composition. These organic forms, suggestive of undergrowth, demonstrate that the removal of pigment in her work creates as much pictorial interest as does its application. She has capitalized on chance marks and harnessed accidental smudges, stains and smears transforming them into landscape elements and combining them with the suggestion of a moonlit scene or reflections in blue water. Here and there, the application of a luminous colour sings out from the configuration of shadowy, tangled forms.
Shepherd in a Landscape, c.1942
Gouache and ink on paper
37.7 x 57.6 cm.
The Estate of The Artist
Osborne Samuel Gallery
When the Second World War was building, in the spring and summer of 1939, John Craxton was having a whale of a time. He was 16, dropping in on life-drawing classes and enjoying the freedom of Paris. Forced home to London by a parental clamour, he was then trapped on a besieged island for the next six and a half years. In such confinement his art exploded.
Having left school as soon as he could, and with not a single qualification, he went his own way as an artist – accepting even art tuition very sparingly. He learned by looking – haunting museums and galleries – and by the company he kept. The patronage of Horizon magazine founder Peter Watson led him to the influences of Samuel Palmer and William Blake, to mentors Graham Sutherland and John Piper and to his brother in art, Lucian Freud. He was fighting against convention and illness – escaping military service due to undiagnosed tuberculosis that left him painfully thin and often struggling for breath. But through all this pressure, he worked and partied on.
John Craxton’s war-time art emerged in melancholic symbols hailed as highlights of Neo-Romantic Art (a label he hated): lonely cottages vulnerable to bombs, torn-out tree roots stranded in estuaries and, most especially, solitary figures in menaced landscapes. Drawn from life, this highly idiosyncratic art was essentially shaped in a singular imagination as a social animal pictured himself in every guise of isolation.
And so he drew and painted shepherds, sailors, dreamers, poets and dancers, each one in some kind of internal exile – and all of them emblematic images of himself. They are escaping, not into the bucolic paradise of Palmer and Blake, but into the refuge of their own heads. Based on backdrops in Dorset, Pembrokeshire and finally the Isles of Scilly, they are dreaming of further physical flight. They are also models of resilience.
By the age of 20 John Craxton had developed a masterly economy which he was learning from Picasso and Miro, in a burgeoning linear art with fastidious use of colour (expensive and in short supply). He worked predominantly on paper because canvas could not always be afforded – though old pictures bought in batches at auction were sometimes overpainted. This shepherd in landscape, wrought in pared-back blue and black, and with the bare homestead to which the figure seems disconnected as his gaze fixes on an invisible horizon, is a gem of Craxton’s yearning youthful art. He will escape as quickly as he can – and the Mediterranean is already in mind.
Young Man with Cigarette, 1961
Acrylic on polyfilla on board
122 x 61 cm.
Signed lower right. Inscribed `Standing Figure' verso
Leicester Galleries, London
Julius Fleischmann Foundation, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA (purchased from the above)
Mr & Mrs Nicholas Lott
Private Collection, UK
Ian Collins , John Craxton , Lund Humphries, London, 2011, Cat No 152 (illus p123)
In our May 2018 exhibition John Craxton in Greece – The Unseen Works we showed an earlier version of the same subject, the same young man minus the cigarette, the same pose with his left leg raised on a
grey block, right hand on his hip and his left elbow resting on his left knee. His tee-shirt is dark blue with white stripes and his trousers are grey. It is signed and dated 1959. Craxton spent Christmas of 1959 with his close friend the Greek artist Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas (1906-1994), known as Nikos
Ghika, in an 18th century ancestral mansion built by his great-greatgreat-grandfather above the fishing village of Kaminia on the island of Hydra.
Ghika invited numerous artists, writers and performers to stay for protracted periods, among them Patrick Leigh Fermor (Paddy) who wrote Mani, his acclaimed travel book there and arranged a studio for John Craxton to use on his visits (where he also designed the book cover). The three men remained the closest of friends and their work and lives were celebrated in the 2018 British Museum exhibition Charmed Lives in Greece.
During the 1959 Hydra visit the builders at Ghika’s house had some unused plaster that Craxton put to good use. He frequently used whatever was at hand and the plaster fitted his curiosity for texture and technique while embarking on a painterly voyage of discovery – in this case building a relief on board by applying the plaster with various tools and then painting the figure in tempera. His love of classical sculpture and ancient reliefs is manifested here in a monumental image of a modern young man.
In 1960 Craxton moved to a ruined Venetian-Ottoman house onthe Cretan harbour of Chania, a thriving port and former islandcapital well-known for its vibrant atmosphere. Below his new homewere the tavernas and bars frequented by off-duty sailors and locallabourers who became the artist’s companions and models in hiswork. This second relief emerged again from left-over plaster duringthe renovation of the Chania home just like the 1959 portrait. In thisversion, the young man has a white tee-shirt and off-white trousersand holds the same pose with the addition of a cigarette depictedwhere the white plaster remained unpainted and the previous greybox has been substituted by a low side-table or stool.Both pictures were exhibited at Craxton’s 1961 exhibition at theLeicester Galleries. This final version was bought by the Julius Fleischmann Foundation, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA where it remained fordecades before being repatriated.
The Sea and the Staircase, Moon Bay, Night, 2010
Oil on canvas
120.75 x 200 cm.
Signed twice, inscribed with title and '(for Roy)', and dated 6/10. Signed, inscribed with title and dimensions, and dated 2010 on stretcher.
‘Chris Beetles Summer Show’, 2011, No 33;
‘Keith Grant: Metamorphosis’, Chris Beetles Gallery, April-May 2016, No 57
Oval Theme I, 1956
Oil, polyfilla and hessian on hardboard
80 x 61 cm.
From the Artist directly to:
Redfern Gallery, London
Private Collection, UK (purchased from the above, 2001)
Osborne Samuel Gallery
Adrian Heath, at the centre of a small group of British avant-garde artists in the 1950s, was responsible for compiling Nine Abstract Artists (1954): a book including statements by the artists concerned – himself, Robert Adams, Terry Frost, Roger Hilton, Kenneth and Mary Martin, Victor Pasmore and William Scott – while contextualising their work in the development of abstract art since the 1930s. The publication was preceded by three exhibitions mounted in Heath’s studio at Fitzroy Street, London, where paintings and sculpture were displayed in a stylish, quasi-domestic environment.
Photographs of the first exhibition, in March 1952, show two oval paintings by Kenneth Martin and Victor Pasmore, a format that Heath would adopt for a series made between 1956 and 1959. For Heath, the origin lay in D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s book, On Growth and Form (1917), which demonstrated the ubiquity of spiral structures in nature. Oval Theme (1) builds outwards from a central red wedge, unfurling through larger slabs of colour towards the edge of the composition. The materiality of the work – incorporating hessian and Polyfilla – endows it with a tough physicality.
In Nine Abstract Artists, Heath identified the importance of the size and format of the area to be painted, as well as his intention that colours and forms should bear evidence of their transitions, becoming richer through the process. As he wrote,
The thing of interest is the actual life of the work: its growth from a particular white canvas or board.
With Oval Theme (1), the relatively large scale and unusual format directed the evolution of the composition.
 Adrian Heath, ‘Statement’ in Lawrence Alloway: Nine Abstract Artists: their work and theory (London: Alec Tiranti, 1954).
 Adrian Heath, letter (1 February 1971), in The Tate Gallery Report 1970–1972 (London: Tate Gallery, 1972).
Indigo Mini with Brown Disc: June 1970, 1970
18.1 x 24.1 cm.
Signed, inscribed and dated 'INDIGO MINI WITH/BROWN DISC: JUNE 1970/Patrick Heron' (verso), signed again 'PATRICK/HERON' (on the backboard)
James Holland-Hibbert, London
Private Collection, UK (purchased from the above February 2002)
Osborne Samuel, London
Harrogate, Gallery Caballa, Harrogate Festival of Arts and Sciences, Patrick Heron – recent paintings, gouaches, screenprints, August 1970.
In this small, vibrant gouache, edges are of paramount importance. Firm, smudged or broken, they bound and surround areas of colour, controlling their intensity. Indigo acts as the controlling factor: through it, all forms become apparent.
From his earliest years as an artist, Heron favoured gouache for its opacity, rendering forms flat and ensuring unity across the paper’s surface. Lacking the translucency (and hence depth) of watercolour, gouache emphasises colour, and hence its function as a modifier of space. From 1962, Heron sharpened the edges between colours, preoccupied by the interaction of one upon the other. He was adamant that his gouaches were neither substitutes for oil paintings nor preliminary sketches, or even ‘a means of trying out new colour-shapes or configurations of dovetailed colour-shapes’ for use in later works on canvas.¹ They were paintings in their own right.
As with his oil paintings, however, the gouaches stemmed from rapid sketches on paper using ballpoint pen. He wrote, ‘I like the water in the paint mixture to lead me; to suggest the scribbled drawing which gives birth to the images’.² The tempo of the medium, which Heron described as ‘fast moving fluidity’, influenced the resultant jigsaws of wobbly edged forms, which owed a debt, too, to the granite rocks, coastline and ancient field patterns of the landscape near Eagle’s Nest at Zennor in Cornwall, Heron’s permanent home from 1956. As he acknowledged, ‘the rhythmic realities of a landscape where you live permeate your mind and your awareness, and your consciousness from the soles of your feet upwards’.³
¹ Patrick Heron, ‘A Note on my Gouaches’, text to accompany an exhibition of gouaches at the Caledonian Club, Edinburgh (1985).
² Patrick Heron, ibid.
₃ Patrick Heron, interview with Martin Gayford (1997), in Patrick Heron, ed. David Sylvester (London: Tate Publishing, 1998).
Panama Hat, 1972
Etching and aquatint
42 x 34 cm.
Signed, dated and numbered in pencil from the edition of 125
Edition of 125
Scottish Arts Council 127
David Hockney: Prints 1954-1995, published by the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 1996, no. 119, p.91
Total edition includes 15 proofs and 60 in Roman numerals. Printed on Crisbrook handmade paper. Proofed by Maurice Payne in London and printed from a chrome faced plate by Shirley Clement at the Print Shop, Amsterdam.
This still-life of a coat hanging off the back of a bentwood chair, with a panama hat, pipe and empty glass on the seat, depicts the personal effects of Hockney’s great friend and early champion, Henry Geldzahler (1935-1994), then curator of Twentieth Century Art at the Metropolitan Museum. Geldzahler was a regular sitter for Hockney.
Oil on canvas
71 x 91.5 cm.
Estate of the Artist
Osborne Samuel, London
Private Collection, UK
Catherine Kinley & Marco Livingstone ‘Peter Kinley’, 2010, illustrated page 15, no 11
Born in Austria to a Jewish father and Protestant German mother, Kinley was sent for safety to England in 1938, not seeing his parents again until 1946. He studied at Düsseldorf Academy (1948–9), then St Martin’s School of Art (1949–53), in 1951 receiving special mention in the annual exhibition of ‘Young Contemporaries’. The following February, at the Matthiesen Gallery, Kinley saw the first exhibition in Britain of paintings by Nicolas de Staël (1914–1955). Like so many British painters, Kinley was profoundly affected by de Staël’s work, neatly summarised by Basil Taylor as ‘mosaic-like pictures built from roughly shaped rectangles of pigment applied with an extraordinarily rich and varied impasto’. ₁ Just two years later, Gimpel Fils – one of London’s most prestigious venues for contemporary art – gave Kinley, still in his twenties, his first solo exhibition. ²
The New Year had barely begun, in 1957, when ‘Statements’ opened at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Aiming both to review the condition of British abstract art and to demonstrate the impact of the previous year’s ‘Modern Art in the United States’, at the Tate, the result was an almost defiant diversity. Twenty-one artists submitted a single work with a statement. Alan Davie wrote on Zen Buddhism, Kenneth and Mary Martin on the significance of mathematics; Barbara Hepworth wrote a poem. Kinley’s work, praised as among the best, was ‘luxuriously painted … containing a dilatorily conceived nude which had less “presence” than the paint’. ₃ His statement, meanwhile, assessed and dismissed the various stylistic options available: Action Painting as philosophically inadequate, and constructivist art as ‘only of academic interest’. ₄
Landscape (1957) shows Kinley at precisely this moment, retaining his commitment to the spirit of de Staël, and to art’s ‘subject’, however freely considered. He had submitted a seascape to the Contemporary Arts Society’s 1956 themed exhibition ‘The Seasons’, and would continue to explore the implications of placing a figure within an interior setting. In Landscape (1957), he depicts a coastal subject broadly in planes of blue-grey, pale gold, gunmetal and green. The structure and texture of the lowest elements – water, rock, hillside – are related with tactile exigency, the occasional drip drawing attention to their material surface. It is only with the sky that Kinley loosens his control of structure, paralleling the sweep of the landscape with strokes that materialise air’s movement and the glint, behind cloud, of light.
In the Arts Council’s collection is an earlier Seascape (1954), comparable in scale, and similarly juxtaposing blocks of blue, black and gold, but which suggests a more rigid approach to landscape. The slabs of colour are edged by black or white, thus hemming and confining their intensity. By contrast, Landscape (1957) has an exhilarating immediacy: undeniably structured, it uses paint to express the mass of landscape, the weight of the sea and lightness of air.
₁ Basil Taylor, ‘Limited Gift’, The Spectator, Vol. 196, Issue 6672 (11 May 1956), p. 655.
² ‘Paintings by Peter Kinley; Recent Paintings by Sandra Blow’, Gimpel Fils, London (May 1954).
₃ Robert Melville, ‘Exhibitions’, The Architectural Review, Vol. 121, No. 723 (April 1957), p. 269.
₄ Kinley, quoted in Margaret Garlake, New Art New World: British Art in Postwar Society (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, The Paul Mellow Centre for Studies in British Art, 1998), p. 59.
59 x 12.75 x 12.75 cm.
Initialled, titled and dated, underside of wooden base
The artist’s family
Osborne Samuel, London
Illustrated Newlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn (1985)
Newlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn (1985)
Crane Kalman Gallery, London (1986)
Gillian Jason Gallery, London (1990)
Bridge Gallery, Dublin (1997)
Penwith Gallery, St Ives (1996)
The context of St Ives, where Denis Mitchell lived from 1930 until the late 1960s, was critical to his creative development. Trained as a painter, he undertook piecemeal employment as his young family grew, working as a market gardener, fisherman and tin miner. In 1949 he became principal assistant to Barbara Hepworth, and that same year he carved the work he regarded as his first sculpture. Ballet Dancer, which was admired by Ben Nicholson, abstracts gently from the human form, rendering it as two stacked rhomboids, pierced to indicate the dancer’s angled legs and raised arms. From some angles a body is clearly discernible, but as it turns, the outline dissolves into abstraction, to become an exquisitely balanced combination of forms.
In 1952 Mitchell’s work was exhibited in ‘The Mirror and the Square’, at the New Burlington Galleries in London, alongside sculpture by Hepworth, Chadwick and Caro. The exhibition aimed to explore the urgent issues of realism versus abstraction, although its extent and diversity proved too great for most to draw any firm conclusions. Yet Mitchell’s adherence to abstraction was already clear. During his ten years as Hepworth’s principal assistant, he would hone his instinct for carving and the purity of form, exploring the abstract implications of enfolding, modular or asymmetrical structures, even when his titles implied figurative origins.
When Mitchell turned to bronze in the 1960s, by necessity using a local sand-casting foundry at St Just, he brought a remarkable degree of sophistication to the process, filing and polishing the somewhat rough casts to create sculptures that were both elegant and aesthetically unified. Patrick Heron, in his introduction to Mitchell’s exhibition at the Marjorie Parr Gallery in 1969, wrote,
… a Mitchell is a form, usually a single, rather streamlined form, enclosed as it were by a single skin … In such art, intuition and intellect are always inextricably locked. ₁
Roseveor (1985), a woodcarving, exemplifies this premise. The split monolith appeared as a formal device in Mitchell’s work in the early 1960s, around the same time that John Hoskin (like Mitchell, a one-time member of the artists’ cricket team at St Ives) was also exploring its form. Hoskin used welded steel to create a series of linear split columns. Mitchell, essentially a carver, created volumetric forms which curve and taper, ‘conceived’, as Heron recalled, ‘under the maker’s hand’. ₂
Mitchell had worked with assistants since the early 1960s, among them Breon O’Casey. By the mid-1980s his assistant was Tommy Rowe, like Mitchell a fisherman, a sculptor and former assistant to Hepworth. Mitchell returned to earlier sketchbooks for ideas, choosing those he now felt he could alter and perhaps improve. Roseveor thus relates to Argos (1974), as well as to Boscawen (1962), sculptures with an upright form and a characteristic ‘U’ or ‘V’ shape. Detecting in Mitchell’s sculpture an affinity with Nicholson, whose white reliefs were carved from a single piece of wood, then meticulously painted in coat after coat of Ripolin paint (‘always getting to the heart of things with practicalities’), O’Casey nonetheless discerned the greater influence of painters such as John Wells or Roger Hilton:
There is a shape of Roger Hilton’s, a large lump with two uneven horns, that you can see, for example in [Mitchell’s] Geevor, or Talland. ₃
Mitchell seldom used yew for his carvings, the only other known instance being Torso, dating from 1951. Yew possesses a characteristic warmth, orange-brown to purple in colour, with a natural lustre and pronounced grain that can be seen clearly in Roseveor. Consummately carved, Roseveor also evokes a primal quality, redolent of the non-western carvings Mitchell admired and collected.
₁ Patrick Heron, introduction to ‘Denis Mitchell: Exhibition of Sculpture’, exhibition catalogue (London: Marjorie Parr Gallery, 1969).
₂ Heron, introduction to ‘Denis Mitchell: Exhibition of Sculpture’.
₃ Breon O’Casey, in Denis Mitchell and Friends, exhibition catalogue (Dublin: The Bridge Gallery, 1997), p. 11.
Family Groups, 1944
Pencil, wax crayon, watercolour, pen & ink on paper
20.2 x 16.5 cm.
Signed & dated 'Moore/44' lower right, inscribed 'Family Group' upper centre & inscribed '21' upper right.
Private Collection, UK, 1954
James Kirkman, London
Piccadilly Gallery, London
Osborne Samuel, London
Ann Garrould (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Drawings, vol.3, 1940-49, Aldershot, 2001, no.AG44.20; HMF 2241a, p.214-215
From the Rescue Sketchbook, page 21. The early part of this sketchbook contains various studies for textile designs and family groups which may date to 1943. The latter part to preliminary sketches for The Rescue, a melodrama by Edward Sackville-West published in 1945 including reproductions of Moore’s drawings.
Reclining Figure, 1936-37
7 x 6.5 x 13 cm.
Conceived circa 1936-37 and cast in 1959 in an edition of 6.
Edition of 6
Private Collection, purchased at the November 1972 exhibition
Thence by descent
Osborne Samuel, London
Exhibition catalogue, Small Bronzes and Drawings by Henry Moore, London, Lefevre Gallery, 1972, pp. 8-9, no. 1, illustrated.
A. Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore: Complete Sculpture 1980-86, Vol 6, London, 1999, p. 28, no. 175a, another cast illustrated.
London, Lefevre Gallery, Small Bronzes and Drawings by Henry Moore, November – December 1972, no. 1. (this cast)
Death of a Working Hero, 2016
251 x 200 cm.
Signed by the artist
Edition of 6
Accompanied by a numbered certificate
In ‘Hard Man’, the first episode of his television series, All Man (2016), Grayson Perry went to north-east England to talk to former mine workers and cage fighters. He attended the blessing of the banners in Durham Cathedral, as part of the annual Miners’ Gala, when trade-union banners are carried through the streets accompanied by brass bands. Hearing the banners blessed, in the cathedral setting, struck him as ‘a funeral for a certain sort of man’.
Perry’s Death of a Working Hero (2016) draws from this experience, and from the examination of masculinity that structured the television series. Scrolled around the upper part of the tapestry is a text resonating with the well-known passage from Ecclesiastes 3 (‘To every thing there is a season’), reworded as ‘A time to fight, a time to talk, a time to change’. Between the sparring figures of a miner and cage fighter a small boy holds a teddy. Below, in a landscape of pit gear, iron bridges and cobbled streets, a funeral takes place. Those watching are not just the elderly, but children and young women dressed for a night out. With the closures of the pits, some Durham miners committed suicide. Perry spoke to a woman whose young son had taken his life, and recalled him as happy and fun-loving: ‘I feel like he wanted to die in that moment, but he didn’t want to die for ever’.
Addressing the depth and complexity of these feelings, Perry focuses on the veneer of masculinity. Bravado and tattoos are skin-deep: symbols of resilience, deflecting attention from the
vulnerability beneath. Tapping into the cultural history of the union banners,
and transposing their materiality provocatively into the sphere of fine art, Perry argues for change and equality.
Pencil on artist's prepared card
37 x 48 cm.
Inscribed verso 'Assisi / Oct 8-55 / Ben Nicholson'. Blind stamped 'REEVES BRISTOL BOARD' (upper right)
The Leger Galleries, London
Osborne Samuel, London
Nicholson’s work in Italy, although closely related to the central concerns of his art, is a special category in his oeuvre, which demonstrates his appreciation of Italian architecture and landscape. He visited Italy in 1950 and this was his first trip to the country since the end of the Second World War. Nicholson produced various drawings of some of his most favourite views throughout Italy – the regions of Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria. Peter Khoroche has commented that, “laying no claim to a technical or historical knowledge of architecture, what interested him was the shape, the proportion, the lie of a building…Building, like objects, were a starting point only, naturally there was no point in mere imitation…Architecture in landscape offered an opportunity to combine his love of precise structure with his feeling of poetry and acute sensitivity to the spirit of place”.
Oil on canvas
51 x 56 cm.
Signed, dated and titled verso on stretcher
Christie’s, London 1977
Private collection, purchased from above
Scolar Fine Art, London
Private collection, UK (purchased from the above 2001)
Osborne Samuel, London
Cambridge, Kettle’s Yard, Winifred Nicholson,
November 21st – December 16th 1972, cat. no. 3
Looking towards Bewcastle Fells in Cumberland, Winifred Nicholson’s painting draws no boundary between still life and landscape. Rather, the ridged or striped china seems placed on a stone ledge, its patterning continuing in shadows beneath it and stretching as a ribbon – whether river or drystone wall – into the distance.
Winifred had felt a strong attachment to Cumberland since the 1920s. In 1924 she moved with her husband, Ben Nicholson, to Banks Head, an old farmhouse on the Roman Wall. This is where she would return at the outbreak of war, after her marriage had collapsed and after spending time with her young children in Paris. The theme of a still life with flowers, whether table-top or framed by a window, was the most significant, distinctive and enduring of Nicholson’s career. As she recalled, ‘I have tried to paint many things in many different ways, but my paint brush always gives a tremor of pleasure when I let it paint a flower.’ The flowers in Bewcastle, possibly white nemophila and yellow ranunculus, are painted joyously and without fussiness.
Bewcastle unites the elements of its composition not only through form, but through colour. Yellow flowers and rimmed china link to the ochre landscape, grey drawing the eye from the foreground to the hills and skittering clouds. Nicholson’s friend, the poet Kathleen Raine, paid tribute to her skill in conveying the essence of this landscape, writing,
Mountains she loved, but above all skies; the grey luminosity of the Cumbrian skies she depicted with virtuosity in her handling of the mingling of light with cloud and mist.
 Winifred Nicholson, ‘The Flower’s Response’, in Andrew Nicholson (ed.), Unknown Colour: Paintings, Letters, Writings by Winifred Nicholson (London: Faber and Faber, 1987), p. 216.
 Kathleen Raine, ‘The Unregarded Happy Texture of Life’ (1984), reproduced in Unknown Colour, p. 199.
Bronze with brown patina
157 x 54 x 40 cm.
Signed, dated twice & inscribed 'Unikat' verso
Private Collection, Switzerland
Five slightly varying versions recorded, this unique work was the first one. (other versions are within the collections at the Tate, London, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and Jesus College, Cambridge.
This work is recorded in the archives compiled by the late Professor Robin Spencer.
The myth of Daedalus and Icarus is a gift to sculptors: dramatic, tragic and containing vivid imagery. Daedalus was a maze-maker and master craftsman; Icarus his feckless son, who flew too close to the sun with wings his father made from feathers and wax. Their story was retold superbly by Paolozzi’s contemporary, Michael Ayrton, who translated its figures, also, to sculpture.
Paolozzi made his first versions of Daedalus and Icarus in 1949: reliefs and abstract constructions, consisting of tables, through which pegs, cross-bars and funnel shapes were inserted at right angles. He returned to Icarus in 1957, creating two large bronzes, each with pitiful stumps for wings. Daedalus (1990) is an emphatically figurative response, however, broached in the robust, mechanical vein of Paolozzi’s later work. Using a variation on the collage process, which had long fascinated him, Paolozzi would construct a form then fragment it – by slicing vertically and horizontally into geometrical parts – before reassembling. The method generated multiple options for reconstruction, which Paolozzi would capitalise upon by casting different permutations as he worked, thus creating series of ‘unique’ works on a theme. With Daedalus, there are five different versions, some mounted on wheeled trolleys.
In this, the first of the series, Daedalus holds two sections of a rod at shoulder height, and stands with each foot on a separate base, one in front of the other. According to legend, Daedalus’ statues were so lifelike they had to be tethered, lest they wandered free – a characteristic supposedly derived from their posture, feet staggered, as if ‘walking’. Paolozzi’s figure echoes this stance through its unevenly distributed weight. Rich in association, Daedalus has been suggested also as a self-portrait: Paolozzi, sculptor and master craftsman. ₁
₁ Judith Collins, Eduardo Paolozzi (Farnham: Lund Humphries, 2014), p. 285.
Rocky Sheepfold, Late 1940's
Gouache and pen and ink on paper
51.44 x 66.04 cm.
Signed lower right in ink, titled verso
In 1943 Piper received a commission to document a slate quarry inside the mountain of Manod Mawr, north Wales, where the collections of the National Gallery were sent for safe storage during the war. While the interior proved too dark to draw, Piper took the opportunity to explore the region, using John Murray’s Handbook for Travellers in North Wales (1898) as his guide.
Returning to Snowdonia in the summer of 1945, he discovered and rented ‘Pentre’, a cottage halfway down the Nant Ffrancon valley, through which a river runs, and to which, at the time, there was an unmade track barely passable in winter. Piper acquainted himself with the geology of the area by reading A.C. Ramsay’s The Old Glaciers of Switzerland and North Wales (1860) and by drawing the mountains repeatedly, thereby beginning to notice how rocks near to hand often resembled the contours of those in the distance. Writing to Paul Nash in November 1945, he described a gale ‘which made the clouds whirl round the mountains in circles and lifted the water off the river in spray’, adding, ‘I hope you will see the place one day.’¹
It is likely that Rocky Sheepfold, which resembles Piper’s photographs of a drystone enclosure in the Nant Ffrancon valley, relates to the landscape near this cottage.² The painting balances topographical detail against broad washes of tone, evoking the mood of lithographs commissioned for the poetry volume English Scottish and Welsh Landscape (1944), described in a review as ‘sinister … livid and menacing’.³ To the perimeter of Rocky Sheepfold, scattered stones extrude from the grass; larger boulders shelter and form part of the enclosure. Elemental and windswept, it demonstrates an opportunistic intervention into the landscape.
¹ Frances Spalding, John Piper, Myfanwy Piper: Lives in Art (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 267–8.
² John Piper, photographs of sheepfold in Nant Ffrancon, Caernarvonshire (c. 1930s–1980s), black and white negatives, Tate Archive TGA 8728/3/3/10–11.
³ English Scottish and Welsh Landscape 1700–c. 1860, verse chosen by John Betjeman and Geoffrey Taylor, with original lithographs by John Piper (London: Frederick Muller Ltd, 1944); The Studio (December 1944), p. 192.
Approaching Harvest, 1952
Oil on canvas
30.3 x 41 cm.
Signed and dated 'Reynolds 52' lower right
Redfern Gallery Ltd, London
Captain D. de Pass (purchased from the above 25 February 1953)
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London (no. 29595)
Private Collection, UK
Likely exhibited at: London, Redfern Gallery Ltd, Alan Reynolds, 1953, no.2
Alan Reynolds grew up in Suffolk, with its tradition of Gainsborough and Constable, and was drawn early to the landscape and to botany. Post-war he studied at Woolwich Polytechnic, then gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, but stayed only a year. He was already exhibiting at the Redfern, and his paintings – imbued with the spirit of Klee – were garnering acclaim. Such landscapes had as their basis a clear-eyed knowledge. Reynolds drew and painted assiduously from nature: grasses, seeds, dandelion clocks, growing tendrils and leaves. His studies, monochrome or coloured with gouache or watercolour, were annotated with neat ink observations about plant growth, crowded in margins or tentatively crossing the image. When Reynolds married Vona Darby, in 1957, his gift to her was an album filled with drawings, pressed flowers and seed pods. Yet such source material was neither collected nor plundered unthinkingly. Reynolds described his quest for structure as a process whereby a ‘subject or motif must be transformed and become an organic whole’.1 Reynolds’ stated aim can be linked to his passion for music, in particular fugues or contrapuntal textures. It is therefore not surprising that he was attuned also to the rhythm of nature, which follows a parallel cycle of statement, development, recapitulation and cadence. In the mid-1950s Reynolds painted a quartet of paintings based on the seasons, which extended to a satellite series of around ninety drawings, watercolours and preliminary studies in oils, exhibited at the Redfern Gallery in 1950’s. By coincidence, after Reynolds had begun this series the Contemporary Art Society invited some sixty British painters and sculptors to create a work based on ‘The Seasons’. The resulting exhibition was held at the Tate from March to April 1956, running concurrently with Reynolds’ solo exhibition at the Redfern.
The Tate purchased in the same year, Alan Reynold’s Summer: Young September’s Cornfield.
Approaching Harvest dates from this important period in Reynolds career, the organic forms a still life within the reduced but richly painted landscape. The rhythms of elements weave around the structure, requiring the viewer’s gaze to nimbly move across the patterned surface.
1.Reynolds, in Alan Reynolds, (London: Redfern Gallery, 1953
Dark Fir, Shoreham, 1952
Oil on board
50.8 x 40.6 cm.
Signed and dated Alan Reynolds 52 (lr), signed and dated Reynolds 52 and inscribed as titled on the reverse
The Earl Jeffrey John Archer Amherst, 5th Earl Amherst
Gift from the above in 1985 to the current owner
Dark Fir, Shoreham (1952) forms a compelling companion piece to the larger-scale Abstract Landscape (Dark Fir Shoreham II Morning), painted in the same year and now in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art. Both feature a central fir tree, simplified to a sequence of upturned branches, amid a landscape of trees and barns. One is night, the other day, while the smaller painting is more loosely, more immediately, executed.
Placed side by side, it is hard to resist envisaging the pair in terms of narrative. The central tree in Dark Fir, Shoreham, ragged against the sky, has the potency of a crucifixion: indeed, to its left, on a hill or barn apex, can be seen a small cross. By contrast, the tree in Shoreham II Morning, solid and symmetrical, cradles a weak sun above its branches. Crucifixion and resurrection? Both works are striking, yet it is the landscape of Dark Fir – with its cluster of trees, encircled as witnesses – which proves the more affecting.
San Quirico d’Orcia I, 1956
Oil on canvas
94 x 150 cm.
Signed and dated 1956. Also signed, titled, dated 1956 and inscribed verso
Private Collection, UK
Christies, 1983, December 19th, Lot 130
Private Collection, UK (purchased from the above)
Osborne Samuel, London
After winning the Rome Prize in 1955, on graduating from the Royal College of Art, Joe Tilson travelled to Italy. There he met his future wife, the artist Joslyn Morton, and together they shared a studio at Casa Frollo on the Giudecca in Venice, where they would marry a year later. Thus began a profound relationship with Italy, which has provided both an anchor and a creative focus for Tilson’s work, from early paintings to the recent brightly coloured Postcards from Venice (2014–15).
During the 1950s Tilson made his first paintings of Tuscany, a landscape that had nurtured and informed the work of Renaissance artists such as Giovanni di Paolo, Simone Martini and Sassetta. The Val d’Orcia is distinctive for its flat chalk plains and conical hills. Over centuries, the terrain has eroded to form alternating calanchi (furrows) and biancane (sedimentary clay outcrops): the Crete Senesi, described by Iris Origo as ‘bare and colourless as elephants’ backs’. ₁ In San Quirico d’Orcia I (1956), Tilson renders this landscape using thick impasto, bulked with sand and grit, and a palette drawn from the dust-coloured valley. There is an insistent rhythm to the patterning of hills against plateau and sky. While the composition possesses a strong tonal unity, there is also mutability in its shading and contour – from the warmth of terracotta to chalk-white, cadmium yellow, and a misty blue light touching the hills.
₁ Iris Origo, Wartime in Val d’Orcia (London: Jonathan Cape, 1947), p. 15–16.
An Orchard by the Railway, 1945
Pen, ink, wash and gouache on paper
29 x 38 cm.
Signed and dated in pencil in the lower right of the painting. Inscribed on verso 'An orchard by the railway' / 'Gouache 1945' by the artist.
Gift from Vaughan to his friend the American artist Bernard Perlin (1918-2014)
Sir Jeffrey Tate
For the later part of the war Vaughan was stationed at Eden Camp, near Malton, in Yorkshire. Army life precluded him setting up a functioning studio in his barracks. Despite this significant limitation, he was determined to continue painting and reduced both the scale and the materials with which he worked. He produced a series of small paintings in gouache with additions of mixed media and described this combination as ‘ a volatile medium’ .
Vaughan’ s paintings from this period record his daily life in the army, the landscape around him and, occasionally, the activities of the local farmers, sowers and fruit-pickers. Schoolboys and young children also feature in his compositions, frequently accompanied by older figures, (see Yorkshire Lane with Figures, 1945, Orchard Scene with Boys Wrestling, 1945, Man and Child on the Moors, 1946). Here the two boys have been gathering fruit from the apple tree behind them. One has filled his wheelbarrow and the other holds his crop of fruit in his hands. An old man accompanies them, his walking stick in one hand as he raises up his other hand in surprise. All three have stopped in their tracks and look towards us, as though we have startled them. This viewer interaction is notable since it is an uncommon feature in Vaughan’ s work. The reason for it is explained in a letter from him to John Minton written from Eden Camp in July 1945:
Actually I’ ve been sparring around with some paintings lately. There’ s a wheelbarrow full of weeds and two people. The sun is shining. There is a gardener and two children in an orchard looking up at a passing train…here are the ochre and umber washes. Here comes the nervous sensitive line.
Translucent inky washes in the background contrast with the more detailed passages of drawing on the figures and tree. We are reminded of the ink drawings and paintings of trees and orchards by Samuel Palmer that were such an influence on the Neo-Romantic painters at this time. However, there is something more disturbing and unsettling in Vaughan’ s. Paintings such as An Orchard by the Railway contain neurotic atmospheres as though they represent scenes taken from a dream. The anxieties and uncertainties of the war, of course, add to this effect, as did Vaughan’ s troubled emotional life.
Maze of Figures, 1970
Gouache, watercolour and ink
73 x 52 cm.
Agnew’s, London ‘Keith Vaughan,’ 2012, no.25
Austin Desmond Fine Art, Keith Vaughan, May-June 2012, no.25
Beginning to make a gouache, Vaughan would first block out colours, working intuitively. He thus started
as usual, with no more than a process. The making of a series of wet marks across the white board in a sequence of colours (blue black I fancy at the moment) and see where it leads.¹
Indian ink might then amplify the emerging forms, outlining figures against the coloured ground. Each decision was guided by what came before, as part of a complex, fluid approach.
The texture and composition of Maze of Figures bear witness to this method of working. Tonally, the image consists of layers of colour – brown, blue and green – in slabs and lines, wet on wet, dripped and spattered, from which emerge and recede the overlapping silhouettes of figures. A connection with abstraction expressionism proves tempting if elusive. In his journal for 1974, Vaughan recorded,
Looked at some pictures of Jackson Pollock. Some are still good. Though I could do better. Scale, energy and nerve is all one requires.²
Energy and nerve are present in abundance in Maze of Figures: its lines effervesce, calligraphically and contrapuntally, against a tapestry of colour.
¹ Keith Vaughan, Journal (2 July 1972).
² Keith Vaughan, Journal (26 November 1974).
Two Men, 1970
79 x 56 cm.
Inscribed upper right March 12/70
The Artist’s Estate
Private Collection, UK
Malcolm Yorke, Keith Vaughan Journals (1939-1976), ill. p.214
Agnew’s, British Art 1900-1998, September – October 1998, no.113
In the early 1960s, inspired by his students, in particular Mario Dubsky (1939–1985), Vaughan began to experiment with working in charcoal on a large scale. Dubsky studied at the Slade, and on leaving was awarded the Abbey Major Scholarship by a committee including Vaughan. From him Vaughan learnt how to blend charcoal, rubbing it into the paper, to create subtle grades of black that could be cut through or highlighted by an eraser.
The potential of the medium is demonstrated superbly by Two Men (1970), in which Vaughan contrasts the gentlest shading, used to define the centre of the left figure’s torso, and thus the twist of his body, with the velvety depth of shadow outlining his shoulder. Between the two figures are medium tones, and upon the draped cloth can be seen the smudged imprint of Vaughan’s own fingers. Against this, strong charcoal lines select and convey the outline of an ear, a navel, nostrils – only those details necessary to characterise the mood, the attitude, of the composition.
Linking the two men there is a homoerotic charge all the more powerful because of its ambiguity. The righthand figure’s intense gaze and proprietorial posture are countered by the left’s seeming casualness. Both are virile, unselfconsciously naked. It is a moment suspended: where it might lead – to passion, detachment or malevolence – is open to conjecture.