Peter Howson’s Trongate is a striking and eloquent example of his career-long exploration of contemporary masculinity, both toxic and misunderstood [and often a combination of both]. The central figure of this work, life-size and dominating the canvas, takes up a classic boxer’s pose, as if modelling for an early edition of the Queensberry Rules, yet his clothing defines him as a bareknuckle fighter.
There is no doubt what side of the tracks this man is from, although Howson reinforces this with the street scene behind, a dark and dirty canal pushing him to the edge, the wealthy city of office blocks and church spires beyond. Trongate is an area of central Glasgow, and like all of Howson’s subjects they are people close to him, specific to his milieu. Yet equally this man could be anywhere, in any tough city.
Our boxer is lit with an almost supernatural glow, an actor on a stage, his surroundings more a backdrop. He is of the city, but in this particular moment, seems to stand outside it. In the sky there are two points of similar bright light – the moon and the North Star, lending this work an air of mystery, an unspoken narrative twist, a meditation, perhaps, on action and destiny.
Lyon & Turnbull are delighted to offer Modern and Contemporary editioned prints and multiples within our Contemporary & Post-War Art // Prints & Multiples and MODERN MADE auctions.
An exciting and developing area of the market, Prints & Multiples are popular with new and seasoned collectors alike.
At Lyon & Turnbull, we handle prints from a wide variety of artists: from 20th century masters Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro through to the British canon of printmakers including Dame Laura Knight, L.S. Lowry, Edward Bawden, all the way to David Hockney and Howard Hodgkin. Our auctions encompass printmaking created up to and including the present day, with artists currently working in these mediums, such as Tracey Emin, David Shrigley, Banksy and the Connor Brothers.
Characterised by competitive bidding, strong results and a high selling rate, our Contemporary & Post-War Art sales are among our most popular auctions. Held three times a year in our Scottish saleroom, highlights are also regularly exhibited in our London gallery. Our strong private client base and excellent international marketing reach has seen these sales grow into flagships of our company.
Encompassing works by both emerging and internationally regarded contemporary artists and sculptors, we have achieved top prices for household names including John Hoyland (a world record), Bridget Riley, Eduardo Paolozzi (a world record for a sculpture), Terry Frost, Nicholas Party, Alison Watt and Callum Innes. Regularly featured local favourites include John Bellany and the ‘New Glasgow Boys’ Peter Howson, Ken Currie, Steven Campbell, as well as John Byrne and Alasdair Gray.
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