William Crosbie

William Crosbie

A Pioneer of British Surrealism

Following the Studio Sale of William Crosbie, in our July 2022 Paintings & Works on Paper auction which achieved £20,000*, we are delighted to present the Studio Sale of William Crosbie Part II in our May 2022 timed online auction. 

A pioneer of British surrealism, Crosbie is represented in all major museums and galleries in Scotland, as well as the Royal Collection and British Museum. The works on offer demonstrate his distinctive and uncompromising style, and affirm his status as an important figure in twentieth-century painting.

 

LOT 6 | § WILLIAM CROSBIE R.S.A. (SCOTTISH 1915-1999) | COFFEE POTS | £500 - £700 + fees

LOT 6 | § WILLIAM CROSBIE R.S.A. (SCOTTISH 1915-1999) | COFFEE POTS | £500 - £700 + fees

 

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William Crosbie was born in 1915 in Hankow, China to Scottish parents. The family returned to Glasgow in 1926, and in 1932 the young Crosbie was accepted to the Glasgow School of Art. A travelling scholarship enabled him to study in Paris under Aristide Maillol and Fernand Léger, and he later took a job with the Archaeological Institute on an expedition to Egypt, where he copied friezes in the newly-excavated Temple of the Bulls and Temple of Sakhara.

 

WILLIAM CROSBIE R.S.A. (SCOTTISH 1915-1999) THOMAS JOHN HONEYMAN, 1945
LOT 20 | § WILLIAM CROSBIE R.S.A. (SCOTTISH 1915-1999) | THOMAS JOHN HONEYMAN, 1945 | £500 - £700 + fees

 

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Upon his return to Glasgow in 1939, he engaged with ‘a little local renaissance’ with figures including the Scottish Colourist John Duncan Fergusson, the poet Hugh MacDiarmid, and the Kelvingrove director Thomas John Honeyman. During the 1940s Crosbie produced several fine portraits of important Scottish cultural figures.

 

WILLIAM CROSBIE R.S.A. (SCOTTISH 1915-1999) MARRIAGE, 1967
LOT 4 | § WILLIAM CROSBIE R.S.A. (SCOTTISH 1915-1999) | MARRIAGE, 1967 | £1,000 - £1,500 + fees 

 

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Symbolism was an artistic movement of particular importance to Crosbie, and its influence is particularly apparent in Marriage. This luscious oil on board dates to 1967, and appears to be in dialogue with the Haitian paintings of Paul Gauguin.

 

WILLIAM CROSBIE R.S.A. (SCOTTISH 1915-1999) EN GRIS
LOT 8 | § WILLIAM CROSBIE R.S.A. (SCOTTISH 1915-1999) | EN GRIS | £600 - £800 + fees

 

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Crosbie’s nudes are always distinctive, and the enigmatic En Gris is an especially fine example. The figure is refracted through graphic superimposed shapes, resulting in a sophisticated abstract composition.

 

WILLIAM CROSBIE R.S.A. (SCOTTISH 1915-1999) TERRIBUS OMNIA
LOT 2 | § WILLIAM CROSBIE R.S.A. (SCOTTISH 1915-1999) | TERRIBUS OMNIA | £700 - £1,000 + fees

 

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Terribus Omnia further evidences Crosbie’s talent for abstraction. His eye for bold, graphic form was honed following the Second World War when Crosbie worked as a mural painter, predominantly for the architects Jack Coia and Basil Spence, as well as a commission for the Festival of Britain in 1951.

 

LOT 10 | § WILLIAM CROSBIE R.S.A. (SCOTTISH 1915-1999) | LANDSCAPE, SADDLE BALMAHA | £300 - £500 + fees
LOT 10 | § WILLIAM CROSBIE R.S.A. (SCOTTISH 1915-1999) | LANDSCAPE, SADDLE BALMAHA | £300 - £500 + fees

 

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Crosbie stated that he used his paintings as a visual diary. This watercolour and ink captures a view over Balmaha, and attests to Crosbie’s talent as a draftsman and ability to evoke the atmosphere of his surroundings.

  

 

 

Auction Information 

 

Paintings and Works on Paper ft. The William Crosbie Studio Sale pt. II

Starts: Thu, 14th Apr 2022 13:00
Ends: Thu, 5th May 2022 10:00

Timed Online Auction

 

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.

 

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