Contemporary Art & Photography

Contemporary Art & Photography

A Private Collection

Lyon & Turnbull's first auction of 2020 featured a striking private collection of contemporary art and photography (Lots 165-193). With artworks purchased from contemporary galleries around the globe, the collection is wide-ranging but coherent.

A collection reflects the collector: their visual eye, specific interests and tastes, even their humour and preferred colour – but most importantly their over-arching vision and exactly what they like. It is an intensely revealing insight into the collector’s personality and taste. Exploring a collection is therefore a joyful experience, as by engaging with each individual work, we discover more about the collection as a whole and how all the different items within it interact and imbue each other with meaning.

This interesting and considered collection of contemporary art and photography, was purchased for a traditional Amsterdam canal house, but then seamlessly transitioned to a new location, a contemporarily re-modelled Georgian flat in Edinburgh’s West End. As the collector moves again and life changes, the time has come for the collection to be dispersed, to new homes and enthusiasts.


Lawrence Schiller (American 1936-) | Marilyn (Roll 2, Frame 23), 1962-2007
Lot 170 | Lawrence Schiller (American 1936-) | Marilyn (Roll 2, Frame 23), 1962-2007 | Signed and numbered 20/35, photograph | 120cm x 150cm (47.25in x 59in) | Sold for £5,000 incl premium


Joyfully put together, by someone with a keen and considered eye, the artworks were purchased from contemporary galleries across the world. Wide-ranging but coherent, there is a strong section of photography within the collection from striking visual feasts of monochromatic silver gelatin prints by Machial Botman and Miyako Ischiuchi, to depictions of musical and Hollywood idols – Bowie, Bono and two iconic views of Marilyn Monroe by Lawrence Schiller. The sleek, visual strength of these works is complemented by the black leather and chrome furniture from B&B Italia and Alias, a cool and fitting combination.


Gavin Turk (British B.1967) | Holy Egg (Blue), 2015
Lot 179 | Gavin Turk (British B.1967) | Holy Egg (Blue), 2015 | Acrylic on canvas, oval | 114.5cm x 82cm (41.25in x 32.25in) | Sold for £25,000 incl premium


The true focal point of the collection is Gavin Turk’s striking ‘Holy Egg (Blue), 2015’ – a bold splash of colour in a fun yet iconic piece, visually striking but with many deeper meanings and interpretations. Around this constellate a selection of strong graphic work, both works on paper and artist’s prints, from Lichtenstein’s immediately recognisable cartoon strip lithographic triptych to less well-known names such as Tadao Cern’s humorous take on beach-goers, ‘Comfort Zone.’ The collector’s particular interest in the conceptual is also well-reflected, from the ‘Flash’ chair fix, a printed cardboard chair that was sold as one flat, perforated sheet, to be built by the buyer – a nod to contemporary spending habits in places like Ikea, but also an engagement with the notion of production – who is the maker here, the artist or the buyer, to Guy LeClef’s re-working of cardboard, newspaper and magazines into visually engaging works – ecologically-engaged art for our time.


Tadao Cern (Lithuanian B.1983) | Comfort Zone, Image No. 1
Lot 177 | Tadao Cern (Lithuanian B.1983) | Comfort Zone, Image No. 1 | Signed, dated 2013 and numbered 2/50 in pencil to margin, giclee photographic print
50cm x 36.5cm (19.75in x 14.5in) and another print from the same series 'Comfort Zone, Image No.8' (2) | Sold for £625 incl premium


A great collection should be full of personality, interest and variety yet somehow still convey a coherence and an overall vision and meaning. In this striking collection of contemporary art and photography, this has been gracefully achieved.





Contemporary & Post-War Art inc The Ski Sale
Wednesday 15 January 2020 | Edinburgh



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