Based in a Grade 1 listed townhouse in Soho, The House of St Barnabas has helped Londoners affected by homelessness since 1862. In 2013 the building became a members’ club with a difference; combining a not-for-profit creative and cultural space at No. 1 Greek Street with an Employment Academy for people affected by homelessness. Participants learn their craft in front of house, in the kitchen, the bar, or in the charity’s offices: since opening, 254 participants have graduated from the 12-week programme, many of which have secured lasting employment after graduation.
The House of St Barnabas’ cultural events, music, and the generosity of members are key to the success of the charity, but the building also showcases work by both established and emerging contemporary artists. The permanent collection of visual art includes the works of Banksy and Tracey Emin alongside a programme of temporary exhibitions supporting emerging artists.
The House have kindly been donated 11 works for sale, ranging from sculpture to paintings to support the charity's work. Most of the pieces have been donated by the artists themselves or by the galleries who represent them. Below we take a closer look at the works featuring in our January 2023 sale.
2023 is the year of the house’s 10th anniversary. With your support and dedication, the charity hopes to continue to break the cycle of homelessness.
Ian Davenport is best known for his colourful “puddle” paintings. To make them, the artist meticulously pours hundreds of thin acrylic lines down a canvas, and they artfully pool and swerve at the bottom. All of Davenport’s work embraces experimentation: he has used a variety of industrial and everyday tools—including wind machines, hypodermic syringes, and watering cans—to manipulate paint and draw as much attention to the process of artmaking as to the finished works themselves. Davenport graduated from Goldsmiths College in London in 1988, the same year he featured in the Freeze exhibition curated by fellow Young British Artist Damien Hirst. In the years since, Davenport has exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, the Galleria Nazionale Arte Moderna in Rome, the Hammer Museum, and Kunsthal Rotterdam, among other institutions.
David Shrigley’s quick-witted drawings and hand-rendered texts are typically deadpan in their humour and reveal chance utterings like snippets of over-heard conversations. Recurring themes and thoughts pervade his storytelling, capturing deliberately two-dimensional views of the world, the perspective of aliens and monsters or the compulsive habits of an eavesdropper shouting out loud. While drawing is at the centre of his practice, Shrigley also works across an extensive range of media including sculpture, large-scale installation, animation, painting, photography and music. Shrigley consistently seeks to widen his audience by operating outside the gallery sphere, including producing artist publications and creating collaborative music projects.
Julian Opie explains: ‘There was a funny moment at art fairs some years ago where one saw a lot of euphemisms for the term “inkjet printing”. I remember my father-in-law once asking, “are you allowed to make art with a biro?”. There are techniques and materials that don’t seem valid for a while, even if they are widely used in the real world. I imagine plastic and plywood had this quality once and even silkscreen printing. This is partly to do with longevity but it’s also a hierarchy where bronze and oil paint once ruled. 3D printing is still in its infancy but I have kept an eye on it as the machines improved slowly. There are certain things that are drawable with 3D printing that are very hard to draw in any other way. When planning these works on flat screens it’s a struggle to keep a clear head and see what I am actually making. I have to get a technician to repeatedly make a computer 3D rendering as I make adjustments, and even then I have to turn and spin the virtual object to try to get a sense of it. But the 3D printer does not have any problem creating these interlocking, almost floating, complex forms.’
Karen Knorr’s past work from the 1980’s onwards took as its theme the ideas of power that underlie cultural heritage, playfully challenging the underlying assumptions of fine art collections in academies and museums in Europe through photography and video. Since 2008 her work has taken a new turn and focused its gaze on the upper caste culture of the Rajput in India and its relationship to the "other" through the use of photography, video and performance. The photographic series considers men's space (mardana) and women's space (zanana) in Mughal and Rajput palace architecture, havelis and mausoleums through large format digital photography.
Karen Knorr celebrates the rich visual culture, the foundation myths and stories of northern India, focusing on Rajasthan and using sacred and secular sites to consider caste, femininity and its relationship to the animal world. Interiors are painstakingly photographed with a large format Sinar P3 analogue camera and scanned to very high resolution. Live animals are inserted into the architectural sites, fusing high resolution digital with analogue photography. Animals photographed in sanctuaries, zoos and cities inhabit palaces, mausoleums , temples and holy sites, interrogating Indian cultural heritage and rigid hierarchies. Cranes, zebus, langurs, tigers and elephants mutate from princely pets to avatars of past feminine historic characters, blurring boundaries between reality and illusion and reinventing the Panchatantra for the 21st century.
The subjects of Karen Knorr’s work are as geographically diverse as the artist’s own biography: Knorr was born in Germany and raised in Puerto Rico, before she ventured to Paris and settled in London. While she works in video and installation, she is perhaps best known for her photographs and digital collages. Principal themes in her work include the stratification of class, the distribution of privilege and wealth, value systems, the symbolic role of animal representations, and issues of power at the foundation of cultural heritage. Knorr prefers to look at the privileged rather than the disenfranchised; her subjects have included wealthy English classes and their patriarchal systems and frequented clubs. More recently, Knorr has produced a series of digitally modified interiors set in India, based on fables and injustices.
Born in Iran in 1961 and growing up in San Franciso, Afsoon explores the merging of East and West. She explores what is at once familiar and foreign through the overlay of various mediums and techniques.
Jamie Shovlin was born in Leicester and graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2003. His first exhibition after graduating was Naomi V. Jelish (2001-4), a fabricated archive of drawings attributed to the titular young girl.
His work often features elements of autobiography and family history. For In Search of Lost Harmony (2003-6), displayed at Tate Britain in 2006, Shovlin used his mother’s bird watching as a starting point to examine about histories of amateur and scientific classification.
Shovlin has explored the use of archives and structures that underpin ideas of subjectivity and history through a variety of forms, including Lustfaust: A Folk Anthology 1976-81 (2003-12), another large-scale project centred around a fictional archive of music memorabilia, and Hiker Meat (2009-14), a collection of material related to fictional film of the project’s title. Jamie Shovlin lives and works in London.
Votives is an ongoing series of pencil drawings mounted to canvas that each depict a solitary candle drawn from life. Titled after the date of each drawing’s conclusion, the works form a collective portrait of time and the fixing of an instant in a concentrated act of observation. The series exists as both singular works and as components of a collective display with the life-size images taking the candle as subject matter in reference to its prominent place within art historical symbolism, acting as a metaphor for time, history, life, and mortality.
Chris Levine is well known for his prints depicting some of the most famous individuals on the planet. Lightness of Being is a luxurious piece, made even more precious by the scale of the image on the paper and the 24kt gold leaf that makes up the work.
Chris Levine is a light artist who works across many mediums in pursuit of an expanded state of perception and awareness through image and form. Levine’s work considers light not just as a core aspect of art, but of human experience more widely and a spiritual, meditative and philosophical edge permeates his work. Levine is perhaps best known for producing what is already being described as one of the most iconic images of the twenty-first century, Lightness of Being. With light and stillness at its core, the sensational portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presents an utterly fresh depiction of the most famous woman in the world. The National Portrait Gallery stated it was the most evocative image of a royal by any artist. Levine’s practice is differentiated by the cross-fertilization across many creative fields including music, performance, installation, fashion and design in a multitude of projects.
Kate Malone has studios in London and France and has become one of Britain’s most well known and generous of ceramic artists since graduating from the Royal College of Art, London, in 1986. Her work is often inspired by exotic travels, the growth patterns and ripeness of nature. Using strong colours and sumptuous crystalline glazes, her work communicates a ‘feel good factor’ through optimistic cladding of her forms with abundant sculptural details. Her work appeals to collectors of all ages with widely ranging personal interests and is represented in major public collections.
The pineapple is a symbol of friendship and hospitality, so the intent of this wall piece is to convey a spirit of joy and celebration. This ceramic Pineapple is made of stoneware clay and glazed with crystalline glazes. It has been made by hand, pressing clay into a plaster mould. It is then hand finished and the fixing on the reverse is built. Using a mould allows for more than one piece to be pressed, however every glaze firing is different, and this piece is an original.
Your Disco Needs You XXXVI (2017) is a digital print of a landscape on a white tile, glazed and fired after printing so that the image sits faintly on the surface like a bruise or a stain, hazy and opalescent. The work recalls a glimpsed reflection, in a public urinal's white tiled wall, of a leafy cruising spot in a London park. Spaces exterior and interior; public and private; expansive and intimate; memorialised and forgotten, all fleetingly combine in an eternalised ephemeral moment, a continuation of Sahib's archiving of queer spaces fading from view or relegated to the margins. The work of Prem Sahib embodies a poetic and provocative "destabilised minimalism", referencing the architecture of public and private spaces, structures that shape individual and communal identities, senses of belonging, alienation and confinement. Mixing the personal and political, abstraction and figuration, Sahib's formalism is suggestive of the body as well as its absence, drawing attention to traces of touch and frameworks of looking.
In 2023, Sahib will publish That Fire Over There with Book Works, an artist's book developed from Descent, a three-part exhibition at Southard Reid, London in 2019 – 2020. Sahib’s work has been shown widely including solo institutional exhibitions Balconies, Kunstverein Hamburg, 2017 and Side On, ICA London, 2015, as well in group shows at spaces that include Sharjah Art Foundation, Migros Museum, Whitechapel Gallery, Hayward Gallery, KW Institute of Art, Des Moines Art Centre and the Gwangju Biennale. Their work is in the collections of Tate, The Arts Council, Government Art Collection, UK; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Norway; X Museum, Beijing, China; and MONA, Australia.
It is the paradox of art that artifice is often the best way to depict reality, fiction the best way to challenge conventional ideas of what we think of as ‘the truth’. Most people are happy to think that this is the way it is. But it really isn’t. Who knows the truth of anything? - Mike Snelle
This obsession with truth and fiction is the golden thread that runs throughout the life and work of the Connor Brothers and is particularly relevant in the current climate of fake news, post-truth and social media. The brothers create retro style figurative images which encourage us to challenge our assumptions and preconceptions, and as a result to perhaps see the world a little differently. Their interest in undermining our assumptions and casual acceptance of cultural norms is reflected in their extraordinary background.
They themselves started out as a fiction as in reality they are British artists Mike Snelle and James Golding. The fictional identity of Mike and James was designed to cloak their personal reality, and such was its success that it captured the imagination of the art world. The Connor Brothers were presented as innocent twins who had emerged traumatised from a Californian cult and were struggling to make sense of the world through their art – an interesting background no doubt, but the truth is more interesting still. After coping with some challenging personal issues for many years the two became great friends and started experimenting with making art as a way of looking at the world through a more positive lens. Their intelligence, humour and creativity gave their work enormous appeal, but when it was suggested to them that they might choose to exhibit it one day, both resisted the idea, unwilling to expose their artworks and themselves to the public gaze.
Primarily a painter, London based Matt Small has a strong, compelling style, often choosing discarded objects like car bonnets or old signs instead of canvas for his work. 'The theme of my work is young, dispossessed people: individuals who feel undervalued, who don’t have a voice, who get looked over.' Small explains how the urban debris he paints on becomes symbolic of the feeling of being without value: 'I thought it’d be interesting to connect the two – that oven door, that shelving unit, that piece of trash to someone – I don’t see it like that, I see that it can be something beautiful and worthwhile. That’s how I see our young people too. Let’s look at their potential, at the hope that’s in all of them.'
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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