Our Autumn MODERN MADE auction at the Mall Galleries, London was once again well-received; setting record market prices for studio ceramicists including Hans Coper and Luice Rie; and strong bidding on a fresh-to-market 1980s Howard Hodgkin, Cedric Morris & Percy Wyndham-Lewis. here we take a closer look at some of the Modern British art highlights.
Our MODERN MADE auction in London on October 23 featured some important works from the Modern British canon. These are headlined by The Red Curtain, a key Camden Town school work by William Ratcliffe (1870-1955). Dated to c.1916 (it was included in the Goupil Gallery show The London Group held that year) this oil shares close compositional similarities to The Artist’s Room, Letchworth in The Tate Gallery collection. Both works are thought to depict the Arts and Crafts style sitting room of 102 Wilbury Road in the new garden city of Letchworth - the home of fellow artist Stanley and Signe Parker. Ratcliffe and Parker (whose father was one of the architects of Letchworth) met while students at the Manchester School of Art. This interesting work sold for £25,000 on auction day.
Another important work of the British avant-garde art scene of this period is a rare block printed silk and linen bedspread made to a design by Percy Wyndham Lewis. Dating from c.1914 it was probably made at the short-lived Rebel Art Centre - the offshoot of the Omega Workshops set up by Lewis after disagreements with the Bloomsbury set. Attractign a considerable amount of interest prior to the auction this stylish piece fetched £11,875.
Sir Cedric Morris’ The Atlas Mountains, Morocco doubled its estimate at £24,375. Each year Cedric Morris and his partner Arthur Lett-Haines closed the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing they ran between October and March in order to travel abroad. The Atlas Mountains, Morocco was most likely painted either on one such winter trip away from Benton End, between 1918 and 1926.
Howard Hodgkin was one of the most celebrated artists of his generation; the pure pleasure evoked by his sensuous brushwork and usage of colour earned him almost universal appeal among critics and the art viewing public alike. The work recently offered, Untitled (After Lunch) - sold for £18,750 - was gifted by the wife of fellow painter Anthony Whishaw, after a visit to his studio in 1981.
Many of Hodgkin’s paintings bear titles which allude to lunches, dinners, and social occasions spent in good company. This colourful work, overpainted in oil and gouache, is illustrative of his increasing preoccupation throughout the 1980s with producing work that evokes the range of emotions induced by social interaction and will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Howard Hodgkin's work, to be edited by Dr. Marla Price and Guy Robertson.
Our MODERN MADE auction took place live online on October 23 with exhibition and viewing at The Mall Galleries in London in advance. This popular auction, headed by specialists Philip Smith & Charlotte Riordan, celebrated the significant outpouring of artistic creativity seen throughout the decades of the 20th century across a range of mediums from paintings and sculpture to studio ceramics and jewellery design.