Scotland’s rich visual culture is indebted to the women who pursued careers as artists in spite of the many challenges they faced. Our Paintings & Works on Paper auction presents a selection of works by significant modern and contemporary Scottish woman artists. Here, we celebrate some highlights from the sale.
Glasgow Girl Margaret Isobel Wright was born in Ayr. She enrolled at Glasgow School of Art and continued her studies in France, developing a successful artistic career with work frequently exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institute, the Royal Scottish Academy and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. This charming view over Kilgreggan and Gourock on the banks of the Forth of Clyde is a study for the 1940s painting Gourock from Tower Hill in the collection of the Wardlaw Museum, St Andrews. The deft, impressionistic application of paint effectively evokes the dramatic outlook on a sunny day.
Agnes Miller Parker taught at Glasgow School of Art, her alma mater, from 1911-1917. In the 1920s she moved to London, and her output from this period demonstrates the influence of Cubism and Vorticism. From the late 1920s she produced distinctive and highly-accomplished wood engravings which demonstrate her eye for graphic design. Dating to 1929, the dynamic Reed-Buck is quintessential Miller Parker. Another print of ‘Reed-Buck’ is in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland.
Syvia von Hartmann was born in Hamburg, Germany. Following studies at the Werkkunstschule, she attended Edinburgh College of Art, and in 1983 was made a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours. Her works are concerned with symbolism and lore, and often incorporate handwritten text. In the pencil-on-vellum composition Das Fischessen, von Hartmann depicts a fisherman and mermaid ensconced in an inscribed paper boat.
Contemporary landscape painter Annette Edgar had stated that her palette is inspired by the heat of the Mediterranean, and that certain vistas ‘trigger the beat of music in my head, so I attempt to convey some of these rhythms in my work’. This is certainly conveyed in the vibrant oil on board Untitled (Abstract Landscape).
Margaret Ross Hislop is known for her delicate floral still lifes. After attaining a degree from Edinburgh College of Art in 1916, Hispop travelled widely, visiting India, Sri Lanka, Egypt and Canada. She enjoyed a successful career as a painter, with work exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts and the Scottish Society of Women Artists. She was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1964. Still Life with Roses, Freesia, Irises and Peonies exemplifies Hislop’s interesting technical approach, from the background and greenery’s layers of thinly-applied paint to the bold, frontal white flowers and vase.
Mardi Barrie initially studied philosophy and English at the University of Edinburgh, but later enrolled at Edinburgh College of Art to pursue drawing and painting. She became involved with ‘The Edinburgh School’, a group informed by their experience of the interwar years. Barrie often painted landscapes, using a palette knife to apply pigment in swathes so broad her subject began to flirt with abstraction. Rose Dusk Over City Bridge II’s lavender palette is punctuated with points of tonal intensity derived from earlier layers of paint peeping through.
Raised in Largs, Jessie Alexandra Dick moved to Glasgow to study at the art college between 1915 and 1919. She joined GSA’s staff soon after, and continued to teach at the School and inspire generations of young artists until 1960. This atmospheric oil on canvas is a fine example of Dick’s astute and subtle application of colour.
Each lot will close in sequential order on Thursday 5th May, starting at Lot 1 from 10am. If a new highest bid is placed during the last 30 seconds before a lot closes, the end time for that lot will extend by a further 60 seconds.